Trump’s choice for Energy Secretary will be a coal supporter

coal

It is reported that Donald Trump has a short-list of four for Energy Secretary. What seems clear is that whoever it is will be making coal jobs a priority. One of the four (Rick Perry) would be a fierce opponent of  all the fake science masquerading as “climate science”, while two (Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin) are coal protectors rather than climate change opponents. The fourth (Ray Washburne) has been involved primarily in economic and finance matters and has (for me) unknown positions about coal and AGW. But he is from Texas and is unlikely to ignore the bottom line (which is of no consequence for the AGW orthodoxy).

Bloomberg: Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with former Texas Governor Rick Perry the leading candidate. People familiar with the president-elect’s selection process said two Democratic senators from energy-producing states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — are also in the mix, along with Ray Washburne, a Dallas investor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

If Trump picks any of the four he’ll break with recent tradition of putting scientists at the top of the Energy Department. Among other things, the agency is responsible for policies on the safe handling of nuclear material and on emerging energy technologies.

A quick search gives the positions of the four on coal production and the global warming fantasy.

Rick PerryRick Perry said Wednesday morning that he does not believe in global warming science and suggested it is grounded in scientists manipulating data for financial gain. …….. Perry said scientists are coming forward almost daily to question “the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” He said the climate is changing but that it has been changing “ever since the earth was formed.” ……….. Perry added that “the issue of global warming has been politicized,” and argued that America should not spend billions of dollars addressing “a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.”

Rick Perry could be expected to be quite active in cleaning out the muck in the Department of Energy Climate Change stables.

Heidi Heitkamp: I applaud the President’s efforts to address climate change and its effects. …… However, several of the initiatives introduced today by the President, while not new, amplify the Administration’s continuing war on coal and coal-fired power. While the President claims to believe in an all-of-the-above energy policy, he consistently fails to step-forward and truly commit to such a policy. Instead the Administration continues developing regulations that do nothing more than choke off good-paying American jobs, and threatening millions of Americans with the loss of a reliable and affordable energy source. Instead of taking this route, we need to find a path forward for the coal industry and coal-fired power by encouraging continued investments in new and existing technologies to further reduce emissions through clean coal technology projects including commercially scalable carbon capture and sequestration. 

Heitkamp is only concerned about jobs and will subordinate her thinking to that end. Her apparent belief in carbon capture and sequestration though suggests that her logical thinking is a little suspect. To be kind, it may just be her attempt to save coal jobs and not any strong belief in nonsense technology which which has no real purpose and which has a fundamental “floor” energy cost which makes it meaningless.

Joe ManchinSenator Joe Manchin (D-WV) went on Fox News on Wednesday to slam President Obama’s renewed push to take action on climate change.However, returning to the refrain that Obama has declared a “war on coal” appears not to be enough this time. Now, the coal-backed senator has upgraded his rhetoric to a “war on America.”

STEVE DOOCY (HOST): The President of the United States declared a war on coal and a war on jobs and essentially a war on West Virginia.

MANCHIN: Well, really a war on America. When you look at it from that standpoint, 8 billion-tons of coal is being burned in the world as we speak. The United States of America consumes about one billion tons. Now, what’s going to happen to the other 7 billion-tons? What’s going to happen to the countries that are consuming and using 7 billion and it’s increasing rapidly? Nothing is being done there. We have done more to clean the environment than ever in the last two decades. And there is more that can be done.

Manchin, like Heitkamp, is primarily concerned about jobs in the coal industry. He has not dared, politically, to be heretical about global warming orthodoxy but has fought for coal jobs.

Ray WashburneMr. Ray W. Washburne has been the Chief Executive Officer of Charter Holdings since 1990 and its President. Mr. Washburne has been National Finance Chairman at Republican National Committee Inc., since February 2013. He is a Managing Partner at HP Village Partners Ltd., and served as Managing Director. He was the Chairman of Charter Holdings since 1990. He also serves on the board of directors for M Crowd Restaurant, which he co-founded in 1991. He serves as Director of Baylor Health Care System Foundation. He has been Director of Entrust Inc. since June 5, 2006. He has been an Independent Director of Veritex Holdings, Inc., since 2009 and serves as Director of Veritex Community Bank. Mr. Washburne is also a Director for Colonial Bank, Southern Methodist University-21st Century Council, and Dallas Citizens Council. He is an Adjunct Professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business and graduated from Southern Methodist University (“SMU”) in 1984.

It is not apparent that Washburne has any strong position on coal or energy or AGW. Nevertheless he can be expected to have a clear view of the bottom line and therefore, not a great supporter of subsidising non-commercial technologies for religious or ideological reasons.

If I had to bet, I would put a small amount of money on Rick Perry.


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