TRUMP’S ENERGY PLAN: ‘We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves’
Shortly after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the White House posted the administration’s “America First Energy Plan” on its website.
While the plan lacks specifics about implementation, it lays out a foundation for US energy policy for at least the next four years.
Key highlights from the plan include:
- Eliminating “harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule,” which would increase American wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years, according to the administration.
- Embracing US shale and gas and taking advantage of “the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves.” US shale has finally become cash flow neutral after years of living on debt.
- Having a commitment to clean coal technology. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania have been devastated by the collapse of the coal industry.
- Eliminating US dependence on “the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests.” While the US has eliminated a good portion of its foreign dependence, it still imports 9.4 million barrels a day, according to 2015 data from the US Energy Information Administration.
- Protecting our environment.
Here’s the whole plan:
“Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.
“For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.
“Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.
“The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.
“In addition to being good for our economy, boosting domestic energy production is in America’s national security interest. President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests. At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.
“Lastly, our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment. Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.
“A brighter future depends on energy policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security, and protect our health. Under the Trump Administration’s energy policies, that future can become a reality.”
She and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, sat through that ceremony stone-faced
Donald Trump extended an olive branch to Hillary Clinton on Friday afternoon in the form of a 30-second standing ovation for his political nemesis after a luncheon with members of Congress.
And at long last, she offered a broad smile.
Trump’s moment of generosity came after Clinton, the Democratic Party’s unsuccessful White House candidate, braved an inauguration ceremony that she had expected would mark the beginning of her own presidency.
She and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, sat through that ceremony stone-faced, betraying little of the regret and disappointment that comes along with losing the world’s most consequential election.
Adding insult to injury, a pocket of Trump supporters in the crowd chanted ‘Lock her up!’ when the Clintons were introduced.
Press used historic moment to wish ill on Trump’s supporters, whine about Hillary and more
Donald Trump is now the 45th president of the United States, having been sworn in by John Roberts, chief justice of the United States.
“There is a chance that Trump marks the beginning of the end of American democracy. And, yes, there is a good chance that Trump will corrupt the American republic in lasting ways.”
At least the hysterical denial and anger from his detractors and the media is over. Maybe.
But as the moment approached, many in the mainstream media could not help themselves and disgraced journalism and themselves with over-the-top pronouncements of alarm and bitterness.
They fretted. They sweated. They worried. And, of course, they made outrageous comments about Trump as the sand in the hourglass ran out.
‘I Wish You Pain, Trumpers’
Chauncey DeVega of Salon wrote of Trump supporters, “They made a decision that loyalty to whiteness took precedence to a shared sense of humanity and the Common Good.”
Therefore, they almost deserve to suffer, he wrote.
“The butcher’s bill has come due: President Donald Trump is about to victimize his own voters,” Salon titled his essay.
“Our new president’s supporters are likely to suffer from his regressive policies. My compassion is limited,” DeVega wrote. “This is my version of liberal Schadenfreude — with slightly more hostile intent.”
While everyone’s been gearing up for President Trump’s inauguration, the Clinton Foundation made a major announcement this week that went by with almost no notice: For all intents and purposes, it’s closing its doors.
In a tax filing, the Clinton Global Initiative said it’s firing 22 staffers and closing its offices, a result of the gusher of foreign money that kept the foundation afloat suddenly drying up after Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidency.
It proves what we’ve said all along: The Clinton Foundation was little more than an influence-peddling scheme to enrich the Clintons, and had little if anything to do with “charity,” either overseas or in the U.S. That sound you heard starting in November was checkbooks being snapped shut in offices around the world by people who had hoped their donations would buy access to the next president of the United States.
And why not? There was a strong precedent for it in Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. While serving as the nation’s top diplomat, the Clinton Foundation took money from at least seven foreign governments — a clear breach of Clinton’s pledge on taking office that there would be total separation between her duties and the foundation.
Is there a smoking gun? Well, of the 154 private interests who either officially met or had scheduled phone talks with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state, at least 85 were donors to the Clinton Foundation or one of its programs.
In November, we asked the question: “Is The Clinton Foundation Doomed?” The answer is yes.
All the way back in May, we outlined how the Clinton Foundation had taken in $100 million from a collection of Gulf sheikhs and billionaires, along with millions from private businesses, who expected — and received — special access to the State Department’s top official, Hillary.
In his 2015 book “Clinton Cash,” author Peter Schweizer showed how during Hillary’s years in government “the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions (either as private citizens or government officials) with foreign governments, corporations and private financiers.” He called the sums going to the Clintons “staggering.”
Using the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch in August obtained emails (that had been hidden from investigators) showing that Clinton’s top State Department aide, Huma Abedin, had given “special expedited access to the secretary of state” for those who gave $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Many of those were facilitated by a former executive of the foundation, Doug Band, who headed Teneo, a shell company that managed the Clintons’ affairs.
As part of this elaborate arrangement, Abedin was given special permission to work for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and Teneo — another very clear conflict of interest.
As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at the time, “These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors.”
The seedy saga doesn’t end there. Indeed, there are so many facets to it, some may never be known. But there is still at least one and possibly four active federal investigations into the Clintons’ supposed charity.
Americans aren’t willing to forgive and forget. Earlier this month, the IBD/TIPP Poll asked Americans whether they would like President Obama to pardon Hillary for any crimes she may have committed as secretary of state, including the illegal use of an unsecured homebrew email server. Of those queried, 57% said no. So if public sentiment is any guide, the Clintons’ problems may just be beginning.
Writing in the Washington Post in August of 2016, Charles Krauthammer pretty much summed up the whole tawdry tale: “The foundation is a massive family enterprise disguised as a charity, an opaque and elaborate mechanism for sucking money from the rich and the tyrannous to be channeled to Clinton Inc.,” he wrote. “Its purpose is to maintain the Clintons’ lifestyle (offices, travel accommodations, etc.), secure profitable connections, produce favorable publicity and reliably employ a vast entourage of retainers, ready to serve today and at the coming Clinton Restoration.”
Except, now there is no Clinton Restoration. So there’s no reason for any donors to give money to the foundation. It lays bare the fiction of a massive “charitable organization,” and shows it for what it was: a scam to sell for cash the waning influence of the Democrats’ pre-eminent power couple. As far as the charity landscape goes, the Clinton Global Initiative won’t be missed.
Other more successful healthcare systems in Israel, Singapore and others could teach the US to lower health costs by two to four times while getting better results
The United States should copy and adapt an improved healthcare system based upon analysis of international systems. This article will review the last attempt at a universal healthcare policy (Medicare for All) and then some of the more successful healthcare systems in the world will be reviewed. Here is a 180 page document that reviews health systems around the world in 2015
Medicare for All
A number of proposals have been made for a universal single-payer healthcare system in the United States, most recently the United States National Health Care Act, (popularly known as H.R. 676 or “Medicare for All”) but none have achieved more political support than 20% congressional co-sponsorship. Advocates argue that preventative health care expenditures can save several hundreds of billions of dollars per year because publicly funded universal health care would benefit employers and consumers, that employers would benefit from a bigger pool of potential customers and that employers would likely pay less, and would be spared administrative costs of health care benefits. It is also argued that inequities between employers would be reduced. Also, for example, cancer patients are more likely to be diagnosed at Stage I where curative treatment is typically a few outpatient visits, instead of at Stage III or later in an emergency room where treatment can involve years of hospitalization and is often terminal. Others have estimated a long-term savings amounting to 40% of all national health expenditures due to preventative health care although estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and The New England Journal of Medicine have found that preventative care is more expensive.
Any national system would be paid for in part through taxes replacing insurance premiums, but advocates also believe savings would be realized through preventative care and the elimination of insurance company overhead and hospital billing costs. An analysis of a single-payer bill by Physicians for a National Health Program estimated the immediate savings at $350 billion per year. The Commonwealth Fund believes that, if the United States adopted a universal health care system, the mortality rate would improve and the country would save approximately $570 billion a year.
In 2013, a fiscal study by Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst was made for Medicare of All. There would even be money left over to help pay down the national debt, he said. Friedman says his analysis shows that a nonprofit single-payer system based on the principles of the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676, introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and co-sponsored by 44 other lawmakers, would save an estimated $592 billion in 2014. That would be more than enough to cover all 44 million people the government estimates will be uninsured in that year and to upgrade benefits for everyone else.
Under the single-payer system created by HR 676, the U.S. could save an estimated $592 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion). In 2014, the savings would be enough to cover all 44 million uninsured and upgrade benefits for everyone else. No other plan can achieve this magnitude of savings on health care.
Specifically, the savings from a single-payer plan would be more than enough to fund $343 billion in improvements to the health system such as expanded coverage, improved benefits, enhanced reimbursement of providers serving indigent patients, and the elimination of co-payments and deductibles in 2014. The savings would also fund $51 billion in transition costs such as retraining displaced workers and phasing out investor- owned, for-profit delivery systems.
World Health Systems Compared
Israel has a system with government payment but with four competing service providers. Israel costs are half the USA.
Singapore has some of the best health results and among the lowest healthcare costs by percent of GDP. Singapores overall GDP costs are four times less than the USA.
Hong Kong has early health education, professional health services, and well-developed health care and medication system. The life expectancy is 84 for females and 78 for males, which is the second highest in the world, and 2.94 infant mortality rate, the fourth lowest in the world.
There are two medical schools in Hong Kong, and several schools offering courses in traditional Chinese medicine. The Hospital Authority is a statutory body that operates and manages all public hospitals. Hong Kong has high standards of medical practice. It has contributed to the development of liver transplantation, being the first in the world to carry out an adult to adult live donor liver transplant in 1993
Israel has a system of universal healthcare as set out by the 1995 National Health Insurance Law. The state is responsible for providing health services to all residents of the country, who can register with one of the four national health service funds. To be eligible, a citizen must pay a health insurance tax. Coverage includes medical diagnosis and treatment, preventive medicine, hospitalization (general, maternity, psychiatric and chronic), surgery and transplants, preventive dental care for children, first aid and transportation to a hospital or clinic, medical services at the workplace, treatment for drug abuse and alcoholism, medical equipment and appliances, obstetrics and fertility treatment, medication, treatment of chronic diseases and paramedical services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Prior to the law’s passage over 90% of the population was already covered by voluntarily belonging to one of four nationwide, not-for-profit sickness funds which operated some of their own medical facilities and were funded in part by employers and the government and in part by the insured by levies which varied according to income. However, there were three problems associated with this arrangement. First, membership in the largest fund, Clalit, required one to belong to the Histadrut labor organization, even if a person did not wish to (or could not) have such an affiliation while other funds restricted entry to new members based on age, pre-existing conditions or other factors. Second, different funds provided different levels of benefit coverage or services to their members and lastly was the issue mentioned above whereby a certain percentage of the population, albeit a small one, did not have health insurance coverage at all.
Before the law went into effect, all the funds collected premiums directly from members. However, upon passage of the law, a new progressive national health insurance tax was levied through Bituah Leumi (Israel’s social security agency) which then re-distributes the proceeds to the sickness funds based on their membership and its demographic makeup. This ensured that all citizens would now have health coverage. While membership in one of the funds now became compulsory for all, free choice was introduced into movement of members between funds (a change is allowed once every six months), effectively making the various sickness funds compete equally for members among the populace.
Singapore spends just 4.7 percent of its GDP on health care (World Bank Health Data, 2014). Cost is controlled in a number of ways, perhaps foremost by the manner in which the government both fosters and controls competition—intervening when the market fails to keep costs down. Public and private hospitals exist side by side, with the public sector having the advantage of patient incentives and subsidies. Because it regulates prices for public hospital services and regulates the number of public hospitals and beds, the government is able to shape the marketplace. Within this environment, the private sector must be careful not to price itself out of the market.
At the same time, the government sets subsidy and cost-recovery targets for each hospital ward class, thereby indirectly keeping public sector hospitals from producing excess profits. Hospitals are also given annual budgets for patient subsidies, so they know in advance the levels of reimbursement they will receive for patient care.
Within their budgets, hospitals are required to break even.
Singapore currently has the second lowest infant mortality rate in the world and among the highest life expectancies from birth, according to the World Health Organization. Singapore has “one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes,” according to an analysis by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt. Singapore’s system uses a combination of compulsory savings from payroll deductions (funded by both employers and workers) a nationalized health insurance plan, and government subsidies, as well as “actively regulating the supply and prices of healthcare services in the country” to keep costs in check; the specific features have been described as potentially a “very difficult system to replicate in many other countries.” Many Singaporeans also have supplemental private health insurance (often provided by employers) for services not covered by the government’s programs
Virtually all of Europe has either publicly sponsored and regulated universal health care or publicly provided universal healthcare. The public plans in some countries provide basic or “sick” coverage only, with their citizens being able to purchase supplemental insurance for additional coverage. Countries with universal health care include Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
The Trump transition team is developing a federal budget based on a blueprint drawn up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation that will slash $10.5 trillion from government spending over the next decade, according to a report Thursday in the Hill.
The main budget priorities of the Trump administration are to be published within 45 days of the inauguration and the full budget proposal is expected sometime in April.
According to the Hill, the Trump administration’s budget proposal is being drawn up by Russ Vought and John Gray, former Heritage Foundation employees and one-time aides to Vice President Mike Pence. Vought was also the executive direction of the Republican Study Group, which has proposed similar cuts in recent years, while Gray served as an aide to Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan when he led the House Budget Committee.
The implementation of the reported budget cuts would mark a massive escalation in the social counterrevolution and attack on the living standards of the working class carried out by the Democrats and the Obama administration over the last eight years.
Among the “dramatic” reductions that are being prepared are significant cuts to funding for the Commerce Department and the Department of Energy, with programs currently under their jurisdiction either eliminated entirely or transferred to other departments.
Other federal departments that will reportedly be significantly impacted by cuts and program elimination include the Department of Transportation, Justice Department and State Department.
Under the Heritage Foundation plan, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which oversees the operations of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), would be entirely privatized. While the CPB still relies on the federal government for a portion of its funding, it has increasingly relied on donations from large corporate sponsors and from the wealthy.
The Heritage Foundation’s budget blueprint is a litany of attacks on benefits and social programs which benefit the poor, as well as an assault on scientific research.
Under the guise of “reducing fraud,” the foundation calls for new restrictions on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits millions of single mothers and low-wage workers. Other reactionary measures under consideration are new work requirements for adult Food Stamp recipients and eliminating Social Security payments for disabled children.
Federal funding for the arts and humanities research would be totally phased out with the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scientific research carried out across multiple departments, including in the Department of Energy, will be completely or partially defunded.
The savagery of the reported budget proposals is yet another expression of the fundamental class character of the incoming Trump administration, in which billionaire oligarchs are taking direct control of the federal government, rather than pulling the strings from behind the scenes.
Reports of the incoming administration’s budget plans came as the Senate held cabinet hearings Thursday for multimillionaire corporate raider and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin, nominated to serve as the Treasury Secretary, and former Texas governor Rick Perry for head of the Department of Energy, an agency which Perry called to eliminate in 2012.
Mnuchin, if confirmed, would join a cabinet comprised of billionaires, multimillionaires and former generals. While Mnuchin has an estimated net worth of $400 million, that puts him well behind Trump’s picks for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos ($5.1 billion), Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross ($2.5 billion), and the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon ($1.35 billion).
During his testimony Thursday, Mnuchin defended his time as the head of California-based IndyMac Bank, renamed OneWest, where he made massive profits aggressively pursuing foreclosures against homeowners during the height of the foreclosure crisis.
Mnuchin sought in his remarks to present himself as a savior moved by the plight of homeowners who was hindered in his efforts to help by too many government regulations. “If we had not bought IndyMac,” he said, “the bank would likely have been broken up and sold in pieces to private investors, where the outcome for consumers could have been much bleaker.” (And Mnuchin just happened to make millions in the process!)
He promised that if confirmed as Treasury Secretary, he would work to eliminate financial regulations that had kept him from becoming even wealthier. Mnuchin will also be taking the lead in formulating Trump’s tax plan, which is to include cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to only 15 percent.
Demonstrating the practically nonexistent character of the vetting process for Trump’s ultra-wealthy nominees, the Washington Post reported Thursday that Mnuchin had failed to report his corporate interests in the Cayman Islands as well as more than $100 million in real estate and art holdings in an initial submission to the Senate panel reviewing his nomination. Though this lapse drew some flak from committee Democrats, it did little to hurt the former Goldman Sachs executive’s chances of confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate.
While some of Trump’s nominees may take their time to get through the confirmation process, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday that a deal had been reached to approve retired Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Pentagon chief and retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly as head of the Department of Homeland Security shortly after Trump’s inauguration today.
“I looked at their records…and I think they’d be very good,” Schumer noted approvingly. He also indicated that Republican Representative Mike Pompeo would be confirmed as CIA director either today or on Monday.
Notorious globalist billionaire George Soros has gone on the record threatening to “take down President Trump” and promising an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the New World Order are making the necessary preparations to completely and utterly obliterate every single Trump plan.
Speaking to a packed audience at his annual dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Soros warned large multinational corporations to hold off from doing any business in the United States until he’s ended Trump’s presidency – or else face the consequences.
Asked what advice he would give to businesses preparing for the impact of the new presidency, he said “I’d keep as far away from it as I can“.
The hedge fund manager and convicted felon, who initially became famous for having made $1bn by betting on the devaluation of the pound in 1992, is reported to have lost close to a $1bn after the stock market rallied following Trump’s win.
Mr Soros attributed the rise in the markets to Mr Trump’s pledge to cut regulation and taxes, but told the elite gathered at the World Economic Forum that the good times under Trump wouldn’t last. Soros said that after Trump takes office – in under 24 hours – “reality will prevail“.
Soros, a Jewish Nazi collaborator, said he was confident Mr Trump’s powers would be limited by Congress. “He won’t be able to get away with being a dictator,” he added.
Soros’s comments to the international economic elite in Switzerland come after Wall Street analysts have begun referring to him as a “wounded beast” and warned that he is “hell bent on revenge” after his candidate failed to win the election.
Pundits and market analysts have been keeping a close eye on the “wounded beast” in recent weeks to determine his next move and reports are now emerging that the funds Soros wasted on Clinton are set to be dwarfed by the amount of money he is now spending on the bond market.
The plan is to create “financial Armageddon and unleash hell“, driving the Western world, and in particular the United States, to the edge of ruin. Out of the flames a phoenix will rise and this will be Soros’ vision of the New World Order.
Soros believes the market is Trump’s weak point. He claims Trump has “no chance” of surviving his upcoming market assault, gloating that the future POTUS will be destroyed and unable to focus on making America great again.
“The way Soros broke the Bank of England and ruined the Malaysian economy, these will one day just be seen as warm ups for his full scale tilt at global financial Armageddon,” according to a Wall Street analyst.