Trump administration energy plan revealed: ‘Fossil fuel industry wish list’

The advocacy group leading Trump's transition team have inextricable links to fossil fuel industry giants and are already influencing the policy of the future Trump administration. Source: Flickr/Gerry Machen

A memo written by president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team entitled ‘What to expect from the Trump Administration’ reveals the future energy plans of the US, which amount to a “fossil fuel industry wish list”, according to industry watchdog the Centre of media and Democracy (CMD).

Advising Trump on his future energy policy is a 14-member Washington-based think tank known as the Institute for Energy Research and its advocacy arm, the American Energy Alliance. Whilst involved in many fossil fuel exploits, including receiving funds from the likes of ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, the group insists it is not anti-renewable. The transition team for energy is led by Thomas Pyle, who penned the infamous memo outlining the energy initiatives of the future administration.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

“President-elect Trump has promised to hit reset on the most harmful parts of the Obama climate agenda, including the Paris Agreement and the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’,” the memo begins. It also depicts Trump’s intention to replace the Obama administration’s “harmful policies”.

The letter goes on to bullet point fourteen key tenets of the Trump administration energy plan; many of which engender anti-climate change and pro-fossil fuel sentiments.

Among withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, “hitting reset” on the Clean Power Plan and reducing energy subsidies, the memo also reveals plans to target progress on renewables. Reducing energy subsidies (for all technologies) is listed alongside amending the renewable fuel standard (RFS) by reducing the EPA’s discretionary authority to set biofuel levels. Given Trump’s stance on wind energy, the memo also expressed that the technology will face “increasing scrutiny” from government.

In addition, the agenda includes increasing the leasing of federal lands for the exploitation of coal, oil and gas, and approving pipeline projects including the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as rolling back federal fuel economy standards.

The fossil fuel influence of the AEA can clearly be seen in the memo to be influencing Trump’s energy agenda. The think tank has already published recommendations on its website detailing how Trump can attack climate-change regulations and expand oil drilling.

The alliance were also  behind a purported Department of Energy ‘witch hunt’ last month; sending out the controversial questionnaire that requested the names of all those who worked in a climate capacity.

“You have a president-elect who pledged to clean up the swamp, and now you have people being tapped for the most important positions who have been instrumental in advancing corporate interests over the interests of ordinary Americans,” Lisa Graves, executive director of the CMD, told Bloomberg.

The memo can be read here.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 21, 2024
Solar PV is expected to generate 20% of global power across midday peaks on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, up from 16% in 2023.
June 21, 2024
PV Tech Premium talks to Nextracker president Howard Wenger about the company's business, expansion plan and R&D spending. 
June 21, 2024
US community solar developer Summit Ridge Energy and PV manufacturer Qcells have extended their module supply partnership.
June 20, 2024
PV tracker manufacturer Nextracker has acquired US-based solar foundation company Ojjo to expand its utility-scale solar foundations business.
June 19, 2024
Global Solar Council offers policy recommendations to increase the installed solar capacity and address barriers slowing its deployment.
June 18, 2024
US solar tracker manufacturer Nextracker has unveiled a new manufacturing line in collaboration with industrial manufacturing services company Unimacts.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia