Those behind Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy should be prosecuted
If they prosecute if members of the present administration it should be for President Donald J. Trump’s criminal energy policy. If critics’ charges are true, this policy will make global warming worse and kill Americans.
For example, the Trump Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is trying to prop up the coal industry by gutting clean air regulations. In particular, The Verge alleges the EPA’s “Affordable Clean Energy” proposal will kill former President Barrack Obama’s (D-Illinois) “Clean Power Plan.”
The Affordable Clean Energy plan is criminal because it could increase American power plants’ carbon emissions by 30%. Obviously, that could speed up global warming by increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the air. To explain, the Clean Energy Plan requires power plants to cut emissions by 30%.
Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy could lead to new coal-burning power plants
However, “Affordable Clean Energy” will turn emissions standards over to states and relax permitting requirements for new power plants. Hence, the plan will make it easier to build and operate coal-burning power plants.
Conversely, I do not believe Affordable Clean Energy will lead to a single new coal-fired power plant. To explain, a coal-burning power plant will take several years to build.
Thus, there could be a Democratic administration as hostile to coal as Obama was in office. Obviously, no company will invest the funds or loan the money to build a coal-fired power plant that could never get permission to operate.
Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy could Kill Americans
Therefore, Affordable Clean Energy is a threat to America’s future because it could make global warming worse. Hence, the Trump administration is implementing a policy that could indirectly lead to the deaths of American citizens in climate change disasters.
Frighteningly, some of those deaths are already occurring. For instance, an estimated 86 people died in the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, in November 2018. That death toll could rise because of missing persons and deaths from injuries. Tellingly, many scientists think climate change is partially responsible for the Camp Fire, Quartz reports.
Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy could Kill Americans without Climate Change
Disturbingly, increased pollution from Affordable Clean Energy could kill 470 to 3,600 people by 2030, The New York Times claims. In detail, weakened pollution standards will put more pollutants in the air. Theoretically, those pollutants could cause premature deaths by creating heart and lung problems.
Plus, the increased pollutants could lead to 15,000 new cases of upper respiratory problems like bronchitis. Hence, increased healthcare costs will eat up any economic benefits “clean coal” creates.
In other words, Trump’s criminal energy policy could sicken and kill Americans long before global warming’s worst effects set in. Then to add injury, taxpayers will foot the bill in the form of higher Medicare and Medicaid costs. If that is not criminal I do not know what is.
Big Coal Profits from Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy
Worst of all, they designed Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy to profit Big Coal; and other politically connected industries, at the expense of average Americans.
“The fingerprints of the coal industry are all over this plan,” a press release from Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healy alleges. “The entire proposal deserves to be tossed in a recycling bin, but knowing the EPA’s current leadership, I’m sure they don’t have one.”
Disturbingly, the Affordable Clean Energy plan is only one of many examples of blatant conflicts of interest at the Trump EPA. For example, Tony Cox an EPA science advisor claims exhaust from internal combustion engines and coal-burning power plants does not cause health problems. Moreover, The Guardian alleges Cox has a history of working with coal industry organizations.
In addition, the administration disbanded two EPA panels on soot and smog. Plus, a group of environmental scientists is alleging the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee lacks the scientific expertise to make an informed decision.
Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy includes blatant corruption at EPA
Worst of all, President Trump (R-New York) is deliberately appointing corrupt individuals with blatant conflicts of interest to run the EPA.
For instance, the acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler is a former coal and energy industry lobbyist with no ethics. Notably, The New York Times alleges Wheeler’s lobbying firm received $2.7 million from coal baron Robert Murray.
Disgustingly, Wheeler admits to lobbying against President Barack Obama’s (D-Illinois) Clean Power Plan for Murray Energy, Murray’s coal company. However, most of the effort to gut Clean Power is the work of Wheeler’s predecessor, Scott Pruitt.
Pruitt resigned on 5 July 2018 after complaints about his ethics prompted investigations. In particular, Pruitt met with members of the National Mining Association; a group he was supposedly regulating, in April 2017.
How Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy can lead to charges
I am no lawyer, but I think there are three ways Trump’s criminal energy policy can lead to charges for those involved.
First, are Wheeler and his staff deliberately violating federal laws like the Clean Air Act? Penalties for violating the Clean Air Act include imprisonment, fines, and administrative penalties of up to $37,500 a day.
Second, are Wheeler, Trump, other federal officials, and private individuals like Murray conspiring to violate and evade federal environmental laws? If so, they could violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) law. Importantly, RICO violators can face up to 20 years in prison.
Third, did individuals like Wheeler and Pruitt deliberately lie to Congress about global warming? Specifically, did the Trump EPA officials make scientifically unsubstantiated claims about climate change they knew to be false to Congress?
Importantly, lying to Congress is a crime. In fact, former Trump attorney Michael just pled guilty to it. Moreover, under federal law lying to Congress is perjury; which is punishable by up to five years in federal prison.
How to Hold those Responsible for Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy responsible
I imagine prosecuting and convicting those responsible for Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy will be difficult.
In particular, prosecutors will need to establish new legal precedents. However, the expense and hassle of a legal battle; and the destruction of reputation, could be enough to ruin people like Wheeler and Pruitt.
Moreover, I imagine Wheeler and Pruitt are weaklings who will turn on their former bosses out of fear of prison. A likely outcome is that Wheeler and Pruitt will try to repackage themselves as born-again eco-warriors tirelessly fighting the coal industry. After they testify about their criminal activities Walker and Pruitt write their tell-all books about the evils of Big Coal.
Importantly, we must try to prosecute these individuals to deter such behavior. We owe it to future generations to hold those responsible for the Affordable Clean Energy scheme for their actions.
Democrats need to target the Gang behind Trump’s Corrupt Energy Policy
Democrats, in particular, need to stop focusing on Russia; and Trump’s sex life, and go after the real criminals committing the real crimes. Prosecuting Michael Cohen; while letting Andrew Wheeler run the EPA, is like prosecuting a petty thief while letting the Mafia run city hall.
The incoming Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives needs to launch an all-out investigation of the Trump EPA. Moreover, somebody must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump EPA and its activities.
Plus the next President needs to launch an all-out investigation of the Trump EPA. We need to sic the FBI on Pruitt, Walker, and their cronies and get those people in front of a grand jury.
History will Damn Democrats if they fail to punish those responsible for Trump’s Criminal Energy Policy
In addition, the FBI needs to raid all the lobbying firms, energy companies, and think tanks contributing to Clean Affordable Energy.
If those organizations are encouraging Wheeler and Trump to violate the laws, we must prosecute them under RICO. Notably, the Justice Department could dissolve such organizations under RICO.
Markedly, an aggressive investigation into Walker and the EPA could refute charges Democrats have no plan to deal with climate change. A good first step in fighting climate change is to make those who contribute to it feel serious pain.
History will damn Democrats if they do not punish those responsible for Trump’s criminal energy policy. Fifty years from now our children and grandchildren will not care about Michael Cohen’s shenanigans, but they will hate this generation for its failure to stop Trump’s criminal energy policy.