UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. EDT — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the federal government was getting in the way of the energy industry and declared he wanted the U.S. to achieve complete energy independence while speaking at an oil industry conference in Bismarck, North Dakota Thursday. He promised to achieve his policies through a series of reforms without describing exactly how he would implement them or what the reforms would look like.
“President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of the energy industry,” Trump said. “If crooked Hillary Clinton is in charge, things will get much worse.”
Without going into great detail on how he would cut down government bureaucracy, Trump used his speech to target Obama’s energy policies describing them as “draconian climate rules.” He said Obama has blocked oil production despite an increase in production that has taken place under the Obama administration. The New York businessman also went after the Environmental Protection Agency for fining energy companies.
Trump said his primary focus in the environmental sector would be clean air and clean water. He promised his administration would solve “real environmental problems” giving only one example of providing clean drinking water for American communities. The Republican candidate said he would lift moratoriums on energy exploration on federal lands.
In the global energy realm, Trump criticized China and said he would develop an “America first energy plan” that would make the U.S. wealthy again. Trump said he would cancel the United Nations Paris climate deal focused on reducing green house gas levels.
In a speech meant to lay out his energy policy in more detail, Trump also focused significant time on other topics including destroying the Islamic State group and creating American manufacturing jobs.
Having clinched the number of delegates needed to become the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald Trump is expected Thursday to lay out another policy platform. The New York businessman will address an oil industry conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he is expected to go into greater detail about his energy and environmental policies.
The Republican candidate is expected to deliver his remarks at 1 p.m. EDT to a crowd of more than 7,000 people. A live stream of Trump’s speech is available here.
Trump’s speech at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference comes in the heart of America’s oil boom region and industry leaders will be listening closely to the candidate’s policy descriptions and whether he will further elaborate on issues including the Keystone XL pipeline and corn ethanol. North Dakota has seen a dramatic rise in oil production over the last decade, with 1.2 million barrels being produced at its peak.
Trump has not elaborated on his energy policy views. He has, however, called climate change a hoax, promised the American coal industry would see a boom period once again and said he would renegotiate the U.N. Paris climate accord meant to limit global greenhouse gas levels.
Two of Trump’s energy advisers said they have told the Republican nominee to talk about OPEC driving down global oil prices and cutting federal tax code regulations, Reuters reported. One of the advisers, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has criticized President Barack Obama’s energy policy.
“Donald Trump gets it and millions of American voters get it. Renewable energy has its place but fossil fuels are a way of life, and we are thankful for the good-paying jobs the industry provides, and the affordable and reliable energy that powers our society,” Cramer wrote in an opinion piece, the Dickinson Press reported.
Trump isn’t the only presidential hopeful to visit North Dakota in recent weeks. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders swung through the state and former President Bill Clinton campaigned on behalf of his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.