Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised theenergy industry that he would cut taxes and regulations on fossil fuel energyproduction and infrastructure to unleash what he called "a treasure trove"of coal, oil and natural gas in the United States.
"You will like me so much," he told an audience ofroughly 1,000 natural gas executives and workers at the Shale Insight 2016conference in Pittsburgh on Sept. 22. "You are going to like Donald Trump."
Greeted by a standing ovation, he claimed that he is leadingin polls and predicted he would win a "big, big" victory in the swingstates of Pennsylvania and Ohio. In West Virginia, "it's like I'm runningunopposed."
While Trump's speech led off with a call to national unityand security spurred by the civil disturbances in Charlotte, N.C., it was arestrained dish of red meat for an audience that seemed inclined to react onlywhen he promised an end to burdensome regulation.
Trump said that if elected, he would cut business taxes to15% and restrict the reach of the U.S. EPA while returning it to its "coremission" of ensuring clean air and water. He vowed to the Obama administration'sClimate Action Plan and Clean Power Plan, labeling them as damaging toconsumers without providing any improvement in the environment.
His "America First" energy plan, first unveiled inlate May, will be oneof the engines of his "America First" economic plan that will driveU.S. GDP to 3.5% or higher and create 25 million new jobs over the decade, heclaimed.
"My plan includes the elimination of all unnecessaryregulations and a temporary moratorium on new regulations not compelled byCongress or public safety," Trump said to a round of applause. "Overregulationis costing our economy $2 trillion a year and I think no other business hasbeen more affected than your business."
He accused his opponent Hillary Clinton of planning on "massivenew regulations" and a $1.3 trillion tax increase, amounting to an "aggressiverestriction on American energy production."
"Hillary Clinton wants to put the coal miners out ofwork, ban hydraulic fracking in almost all places, and extensively restrict andban energy production on public lands and on most offshore areas," Trumpsaid. "This will produce devastation for states like Pennsylvania and Ohioand West Virginia."
Trump said Clinton's policies will block improvements inpipelines and other energy infrastructure but his lifting of heavy handedregulations will bring private investment back to energy projects. "It'llhappen quickly," he promised to another round of applause.
"Hillary Clinton's war on energy will cost our economy$5 trillion, at least," Trump said. "She's not only declared war onthe miners but on all oil and natural gas production — it's war — whichsupports 10 million jobs in the United States. You people know it's war. It'sgoing to be worse under her than it's been under President Obama."
"We have just begun to recognize our advantage, as anation, that is made possible by shale energy," Trump said. He said theshale revolution would reignite demand for American steel and bring steel jobsback to Pittsburgh.
"Federal restrictions remain a major impediment to bothshale production, specifically, and energy production in general," Trumpsaid. "Our energy policy will make full use of our domestic energy sourcesincluding traditional and renewable energy resources. We want everything."
Despite speaking to an audience of natural gas professionalswho have made it their lives work to take market share from coal, Trump keptreturning to that commodity for specifics of his energy plan. "We will endthe war on coal and the war on our miners," Trump said, promising a "topdown" review of all "anti-coal regulations issued by the Obamaadministration."