The climate-science denier-in-chief, Donald Trump, signed two executive orders on Wednesday, April 1, that take the granting of permits for oil and gas pipelines out of the hands of states. Trump acted on the orders of Big Oil and Gas as he traveled around oil- and gas-rich Texas for fundraisers and meetings with supporters. Texas has over 270,000 fracking wells currently in operation.
Big Oil and Gas is upset that the clean energy movement here in New York was able to get the state to deny a permit to the Constitution Pipeline, which would have imported fracked gas from Pennsylvania. The movement is currently demanding that the state deny a permit to the proposed Williams Pipeline, which would import fracked gas from Pennsylvania via New Jersey to New York City. We have been demanding that Gov. Cuomo of New York deny the permit by Earth Day. A march in New York City on April 18 is planned to reinforce that demand. Now Trump wants the pipeline imposed on us by the feds.
Climate science says that developed countries must rapidly transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 if we’re to have a realistic chance of averting disastrous climate change. As the first step in transitioning to clean energy, we must stop building new fossil-fuel infrastructure now. In fact, about half of the world’s coal, oil, and gas in mines and wells that are already in operation must be kept in the ground in order for the world to have a 50% chance of keeping the rise in global temperature below the 1.5ºC target set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Trump is a fool who calls climate change a hoax. But in practical impact, the Democrats aren’t much better. Last August, the Democratic National Committee reaffirmed their commitment to take oil and gas industry money and continue their “all of the above” energy policy, which means fracking the hell out of the country for oil and gas. With the lone exception of Bernie Sanders, none of the Democratic presidential candidates has ever called for a national ban on fracking. Yet Sanders campaigned last year for the pro-fracking candidate for Colorado governor, Jared Polis, while an anti-fracking referendum was on the state ballot. Polis won, and the anti-fracking ballot measure lost. The other Democratic candidates duck and dodge when asked about fracking. When pressed, they say fracking needs to be regulated. The Democrats’ energy policy is a recipe for climate catastrophe.
To put the demands before the public for a federal ban on fracking and a federal halt to all new fossil-fuel infrastructure is another reason why the Green Party needs to run its own presidential ticket.