|February 06, 2019|
Trump ditches coal when hyping 'revolution in American energy' in SOTU speech
|President Trump did not mention coal when he declared Tuesday night that his administration has "unleashed a revolution in American energy" that has lead to historic energy export highs and economic growth.|
Speaking at his State of the Union address, Trump emphasized the United States's leading role in fossil fuel production and exportation, championing the country becoming the leading global producer of oil and natural gas during his tenure.
"We have unleashed a revolution in American energy --- the United States is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world," Trump told the crowd to applause.
The U.S. became the top oil and natural gas producer in 2018.
While Trump reiterated his support of the industry during last year's address, pushing the benefits of "beautiful, clean coal," he notably failed to mention the energy source once this year.
Trump added that the country "for the first time in 65 years" is also a net exporter of energy --- an achievement he tied into job growth.
"After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day. Members of Congress: the State of our Union is strong. Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before," he said in his speech in front of members of Congress.
Yet Trump's estimates on the U.S. being a net energy exporter are premature. The country is still importing more energy than it exports. The independent U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that exports will eventually exceed imports by 2020.
The president has routinely championed U.S. fossil fuel production, linking it to the need for energy independence. That plan has frequently hinged on keeping retiring U.S. coal fire plants running. Trump during his campaign made a presidential promise to bring jobs back to that sector.
Since he took office, though, Trump and his administration has struggled to prop up the industry, as plants shuttered due to the rising cost of production compared to cheaper natural gas. A record number of coal fire plants retired in 2018 with a steady number expected to follow suit this year.
Other energy and environment topics left out of his more than hourlong speech included solar power, wind, renewables and climate change.