Trump Energy Agenda Revealed in Thomas Pyle Memo

Trump Energy Agenda Revealed in Thomas Pyle Memo
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The energy agenda of the incoming Trump administration just got a lot clearer. A memo sent by Thomas Pyle, president of the Koch-funded Institute for Energy Research (IER) and head of the Trump transition’s energy team, laid out “The Trump Administration’s Energy Plan.”

The memo, which was received and published by the Center for Media and Democracy, was sent by Pyle to a private email list just days before the Trump team announced that it would replace a Koch lobbyist with Pyle, a Koch-funded former lobbyist, to lead the Department of Energy transition team efforts.

Pyle is the president of both IER and its sister advocacy organization, the American Energy Alliance (AEA), which are both heavily funded by the Koch brothers and their affiliates. Last year, IER and AEA received $3 million from the Koch donor network. Charles Koch was one of the original founders and board members of IER. Pyle’s Koch connections run even deeper, having served as Director of Federal Affairs for Koch Industries from 2001-2005.

The “Trump Administration’s Energy Plan” reads like a fossil fuel industry wish list, including 14 policy proposals such as:

  • Withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement;
  • Increasing federal oil and natural gas leasing;
  • Lifting the coal lease moratorium;
  • Eliminating the Clean Power Plan;
  • Expediting approvals of LNG export terminals;
  • Moving forward with pipeline projects including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline;
  • Rolling back federal fuel economy standards;
  • Ending the use of the social cost of carbon in agency rulemaking; and
  • Reconsidering the “endangerment finding” that found greenhouse gases to be a threat to public health and welfare.

The memo from Pyle was echoed in a blog post on the AEA website published on Friday, December 2, which lays out “A Blueprint for America’s Comeback” and includes many of the same policy proposals, similarly worded. The entirety of the original memo is uploaded on the ExposedByCMD blog.

Trump Energy Agenda Revealed in Thomas Pyle Memo
Ben Jervey is a Senior Fellow for DeSmog and directs the KochvsClean.com project. He is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher, specializing in climate change and energy systems and policy. Ben is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor for GOOD Magazine, and wrote a longstanding weekly column titled “The New Ideal: Building the clean energy economy of the 21st Century and avoiding the worst fates of climate change.” He has also contributed regularly to National Geographic News, Grist, and OnEarth Magazine. He has published three books—on eco-friendly living in New York City, an Energy 101 primer, and, most recently, “The Electric Battery: Charging Forward to a Low Carbon Future.” He graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College, and earned a Master’s in Energy Regulation and Law at Vermont Law School. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.

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