On energy, Clinton would double down on regulation strangulation

Never has the stark difference between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on a key issue been plainer. Clinton has detailed her position for several months. Her assertion she would, as president, put “lots of coal miners and coal companies out of business” is backed by detailed policy. It calls for massive new taxes on fossil fuels and huge new subsidies for solar and wind power. Trump has pledged to put miners already in unemployment lines because of President Barack Obama’s initiatives back to work. During a speech in Gettysburg last Saturday, Trump filled in some of the blanks regarding how he will accomplish that. He will lift federal regulations that restrict U.S. energy production, Trump pledged. He will emphasize development of clean coal technology, he added. A general review of regulations hampering domestic energy production and use would be of enormous value. Obama’s administration has sought to drive energy prices up by using a buffet of regulatory attacks. They include the proposed Clean Power Plan and new water quality rules that would make it virtually impossible to mine coal. They extend to slow-walking gas and oil pipeline permits and at times rejecting them, as with the Keystone XL plan to bring crude oil here from Canada. Finally, the Obama formula includes reducing federal support for research into techniques such as clean-coal technology that could allow Americans to continue using affordable sources of energy. Clinton wants to double down on Obama’s approach. That is the difference between her and Trump on energy. Clinton is ready to give up on fossil fuels and force the nation to pay an enormous price for dependence on “alternatives.” In sharp contrast, Trump plans to pursue what residents of our area know is possible — ways to continue using the affordable, abundant energy sources available in the United States. And that means all of the energy sources. It is good for consumers and our nation because it is one of the best ways to relieve dependence on other countries that do not necessarily care much about this nation’s security.