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All About the Benjamins

Trump vows to create jobs by cutting regulations. That won’t work.

In his first post-election national address — conveyed via YouTube — President-elect Donald Trump detailed his plans to “make America great again” in his first 100 days in office.

These plans include renegotiating international trade deals, imposing new bans on lobbying within his administration, and ending restrictions on fossil fuel production. That would fly in the face of the U.S. commitment to ratchet down emissions under the Paris Agreement, the international climate treaty supported by 71 percent of Americans.

“On energy,” Trump said, “I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs. That’s what we want. That’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

That order of business, however, does not address the dearth of “millions of high-paying jobs” in the energy sector. Fossil fuel jobs have been in decline not because of overregulation, but due to the low prices of gas, oil, and coal. (That said, those prices are forecast to rise again.)

In fact, the shale drilling industry is already exempt from a number of the major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air and the Clean Water Act.

As for “clean coal,” someone should probably tell the President-elect there’s no such thing. But we have a feeling he’s not going to listen.