Trump’s Energy Policy

Trump’s Energy Policy: 10 Big Changes

  1. Goodbye to the Clean Power Plan.
  2. Increased energy production on federal lands.
  3. Coal gets a reprieve.
  4. Wind power industry loses its free pass to kill bald eagles..
  5. Wind and solar power loses disproportionate subsidies.
  6. Ethanol gets closer scrutiny.
  7. Yucca Mountain finally begins accepting nuclear waste.
  8. Next-generation nuclear power surges forward.
  9. Hydro power reverses its long decline.
  10. Natural gas exports increase.

See details below.

Trump’s Energy Policy: 10 Big Changes

James Taylor ,  Contributor

I am president of the Spark of Freedom Foundation.                                       Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

  1. Goodbye to the Clean Power Plan. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan was political poison for Democrats in the November elections. In 14 Senate races highlighted before the elections by the liberal website Mother Jones as being especially important in the global warming debate, 11 were won by candidates opposing the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan was decisively damaging to Hillary Clinton in Great Lakes battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The American public supports government taking some steps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause some global warming, but Donald Trump realized expensive, highly partisan, top-down restrictions are an unpopular prescription. Expect Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to retract the Clean Power Plan immediately upon taking office. Don’t be surprised, however, if he extends an olive branch to people concerned about global warming by offering alternative policies that address carbon dioxide emissions in a more affordable, fair, free-market manner.
  2. Increased energy production on federal lands. Oil and natural gas prices have fallen dramatically thanks to the fracking revolution and increased production. This increased production, however, has occurred in spite of – rather than because of – Obama administration policies. Fortunately for American consumers, increased production on privately owned and state-owned lands has more than compensated for the Obama administration increasing the percentage of federal-owned lands rendered off-limits to oil and gas production. Expect the Trump administration to open up more federal lands to energy production, which will further increase domestic oil and natural gas production. This will in turn lower energy prices, increase royalty payments to offset our national debt, and bolster the American economy.
  3. Coal gets a reprieve. Restrictions on coal production and coal power have reached unprecedented severity under the Obama administration. Coal is unlikely to be saddled with any new environmental restrictions under the Trump administration. Just as importantly, the Trump administration is likely to rescind many of the restrictions imposed by the Obama administration, such as a new slate of restrictions announced last week. This may not revive coal power, which faces strong competition from inexpensive natural gas. Nevertheless, coal will face fewer regulatory restrictions under the Trump administration.
  4. Wind power industry loses its free pass to kill bald eagles. Private individuals, oil producers, natural gas producers, and everybody else in America justifiably pay severe penalties for killing bald eagles, even inadvertently. Not so the wind power industry. In the ironic name of environmentalism, wind power gets a free pass on the 1.4 million birds and bats the industry kills each year, including endangered and protected species like the bald eagle. The Obama administration last week dramatically increased the number of bald eagles wind power companies can kill without penalty. Expect the Trump administration to reverse this course and make the wind power industry accountable to the same environmental protections that apply to everyone else.
  5. Wind and solar power loses disproportionate subsidies. Wind and solar subsidies during the past decade have dwarfed those of all other energy sources, imposing expensive and unreliable power on American consumers. The wind and solar industries claim their products are falling in price and insist they can provide power on a cost-competitive basis with conventional power. Expect the Trump administration to hold the wind and solar industries to their word, reducing subsidies and restoring a level playing field for competing energy sources.
  6. Ethanol gets closer scrutiny. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, enacted into law with the support of the Bush administration, imposes costly ethanol requirements on America’s gasoline consumers. Since passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act, research has proven ethanol is in many ways worse for air pollution and the environment than gasoline. Consumer advocates, free-marketers, and environmental groups have united in opposition to ethanol, yet the ethanol requirements remain. Not only do they remain, but the Obama administration recently increased the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline. Expect the Trump administration to take a hard look at ethanol and consider rolling back federal ethanol mandates.
  7. Yucca Mountain finally begins accepting nuclear waste. Nuclear power is currently hampered by strong government headwinds. The Yucca Mountain storage facility for spent nuclear fuel is essentially ready to accept spent fuel but the Obama administration and Obama’s Senate ally Harry Reid have blocked Yucca Mountain from accepting spent fuel. Some states have enacted laws prohibiting the construction of new nuclear power facilities until Yucca Mountain is available to accept spent fuel. Expect the Trump administration to streamline the opening
  8. Next-generation nuclear power surges forward. Nuclear power faces many obstacles in addition to spent fuel issues. Energy economics and excessive government regulation make traditional large nuclear power plants uncompetitive with coal and natural gas power. However, there is substantial promise for small, next-generation nuclear reactors utilizing new technologies. For example, many scientists, economists, and environmentalists see tremendous promise for small molten salt reactors powered by thorium. Any new nuclear technologies, however, must receive government scrutiny and approval. To date, the federal government has been dragging its feet studying and approving new nuclear reactor designs. Expect the Trump administration to prioritize removing government obstacles to new nuclear power designs, which coincidentally would provide more emissions-free power.
  9. Hydro power reverses its long decline. The Obama administration has presided over the removal of existing hydropower dams despite hydropower providing affordable, emissions-free electricity. The U.S. Department of Energy reports opportunities exist to increase hydropower production by 50 percent in the near future with minimal environmental impact. Expect the Trump administration to reverse federal energy policy that hinders hydropower production. Hydropower could be poised for a major comeback.
  10. Natural gas exports increase. Natural gas is in high global demand to reduce pollution in an affordable manner. Asia in particular suffers extreme air pollution exacerbated by Chinese coal. In Europe, our friends and allies are overly dependent on Russian natural gas, making them vulnerable to aggressive Russian foreign policy. The Obama administration has blocked the construction of natural gas export terminals that would allow American energy companies to deliver natural gas to countries that need it. Expect the Trump administration to reverse course on this short-sighted policy. More natural gas exports will bring environmental and strategic political relief to countries abroad, while simultaneously providing America economic and strategic political benefits.

Timeline of Jesus’ Birth

the-birth-of-jesusTime Line of Jesus’ Birth – Gospels of Matthew & Luke.

The angel Gabrial, standing by the altar of incense in the temple, appears to Zacharias. The angel tells Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son whose name is John and that he will prepare the way for the Mesiah. Zacharias questions this because they are old.  He is struck speechless. When he emerges, the people see his condition and gestures as a sign of divine revelation.  Luke 1:5-21

An Angel tells the virgin Mary that she will bear the messiah, foretelling Jesus’ birth. She is also told that her cousin Elisabeth is pregnant. Luke 1:26-38

Mary visits Elisabeth, who is 6 months pregnant, and stays 3 months. When Mary arrives Elisabeth’s child, John, leaps in her womb for joy. Luke 1:39-41

Both Elisabeth and Mary prophesy. Luke 1:42-55

Mary, who is 3 months pregnant, returns home to Nazareth and Elisabeth gives birth. Luke 1:56-57

Zacharias names their baby boy John and then regains his ability to speak. Luke 1:58-64

Everyone is amazed about it throughout the whole area. Luke 1:65-66

Zacharas prophesies. Luke 1:67-79

Joseph learns of Mary’s pregnancy and wants to quietly get rid of her. Matthew 1:19

In a dream, an angel tells Joseph to marry Mary because her baby is from God. Matthew 1:20-23

Joseph marries Mary but doesn’t “know” her until after her baby is born.   Matthew 1:24-25

Jesus had at least 4 brothers (James, Joses, Simon and Judas) and at least 3 sisters. See Matthew 13:55-56.  Note: the belief that Mary remained a virgin and the others are older children of Joseph by a first wife is unsupported. The nativity story and their flight to Egypt never mention other children, who would have been brought along for the census and would have traveled with them to Egypt.

Joseph and Mary, whose pregnancy is far advanced, travel to Bethlehem for the census imposed by Caesar Augustus. Luke 2:1-5

Jesus is born and laid in a manger because there is no room in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

That night, shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem are visited by an angel announcing the birth of Jesus who is declared the Messiah. A heavenly host joins the angel proclaiming peace. Luke 2:8-14

The shepherds leave their flocks in the field and find Jesus lying in a manger as predicted. Luke 2:15-16

The shepherds spread the news throughout the town and countryside and then return to their flocks. Luke 2:17-20

Joseph, Mary and Jesus move into a house (or room in the inn) in Bethlehem to stay until Mary’s purification is complete (40 days).   Timing is uncertain, but before the wise men arrive. See Matthew  2:11

On the eighth day Jesus is circumcised. Luke 2:21

Wise men from the east country arrive at Jerusalem seeking the “King” whose star they have followed, and the whole city is in an uproar. Matthew 2:1-3

They inquire of King Herod where the child is prophesied to be born. Matthew 2:2-4

Herod’s advisers tell them that the child, the Messiah, is prophesied to be born in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:4-6

Herod asks when the star appeared (probably over 1.5 years from the day Zacharias was visited by the angel Gabriel. 6 months plus 9 months of Mary’s pregnancy. See calculation below). Matthew 2:7

Herod requests that they return and tell him where the child is, supposedly so he can worship him (a lie). Matthew 2:7-8

The wise men visit Jesus in a house in Bethlehem and offer gifts. The fact that they are still in Bethlehem and haven’t returned to Nazareth probably means Mary’s 40 day period of purification was not yet complete. Matthew 2:11

To have arrived within 40 days of Jesus’ birth, the wise men must have begun following the star well before Jesus’ birth, perhaps when Mary was annunciated or even when the angel appears to Zacharias. Two years is reasonable to fit the ages of children later killed in Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. By adding Elisabeth’s 6 months and Mary’s 9 months, well over a year passed between Elisabeth’s conception of John and Jesus’s birth; then by adding the 40 days of purification and perhaps a month before Zacharias returned home to Elisabeth and the period Herod waited for the wise men before acting, it would be about two years.)

The wise men are warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, and they leave by another route. Matthew 2:12

Mary’s days of purification are completed. This was mentioned in Luke 2:22 but was connected to presentation in the temple with no mention of the period in Egypt or the slaughter.

Joseph is warned in a dream to take the child to Egypt to avoid Herod’s murderous rage. They depart. Matthew 2:13-14

Based on the testimony of the wise men about when the star first appeared, Herod has all of the male babies under 2 years old murdered in an attempt to kill the baby Jesus as a threat to his reign. Matthew 2:16-18

Herod dies and they return from Egypt after an angel informs them of Herod’s death. Matthew 2:19-21

Jesus is presented in the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated to God as a first born son. Luke 2:22-24

In the temple, Simeon recognizes and declares Jesus as the Messiah he had been expecting and had been revealed to come before his death. (Jesus is still an infant or a very young child that Simeon was able to take up in his arms. Their stay in Egypt was probably only a very few years until Herod dies.) Luke 2:25-32

In the temple, Anna, a righteous widow, also recognizes and declares Jesus as the Messiah. Luke 2:36-38

Joseph, Mary and Jesus move to Nazareth to avoid possible danger from Herod’s sons. Luke 2:39

While growing up, Jesus is found debating with the elders in the temple in Jerusalem at age 12. Luke 2:40-48

John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, who is 6 months older, grows up and spends most of his time in the desert wearing rough clothing and eating honey and locusts, possibly as an esthetic hermit. Luke 1:80

Jesus turns water into wine at his mother’s request, but declares his time is not yet. John 2:1-11

John the Baptist begins to preach baptism for remission of sins and to prepare for the coming Messiah. Several references hint that John is the prophet Elias returned to announce the Messiah. Luke 3:2-18; Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the Jordon River. The Holy Spirit descends on Jesus and declares him the Son of God. Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22

Jesus fasts in the wilderness for 40 days and is tempted by Satan. He resists and Satan departs. Angels minister to him. Luke 4:1-13; Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus begins preaching at age 30, calls his first disciples and performs many miracles of healing. Matthew 4:17; Luke 4:14-15

The Bethlehem Star


Thoughts on the Nature of the Bethlehem Star.

Non-Christians, especially atheists, make the mistake of assuming miracles necessarily break the laws of the universe. They think that finding a possible natural explanation of events described in the Bible somehow eliminates God as a cause.  That is an obvious fallacy.  If God created the universe and the laws that make it intelligible, He can also cause natural events and use those universal laws to make His purposes known.  Atheists and others spend a lot of time on research and produce TV documentaries on possible natural causes for Biblical events such as the plagues of Egypt.  What they fail to understand is that these same events are ultimately caused by God, even if they don’t break the laws of the universe (also created by God).

Now, to the Star of Bethlehem: many theories have been proposed for the star that seemed to track westward and stood still over the birthplace of Jesus.  Remember God caused it, regardless of a possible object that may explain it.  Some have said it was a comet; some have said it was a supernova that then faded away; some have said it must have been a rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  All of these are possible except for the change from moving westward to becoming stationary over Bethlehem.

I would like to propose another natural explanation that I have not seen discussed before. A very small geosynchronous satellite of earth could fit this description. If earth captured a meteor in a west to east orbit just at the top of the atmosphere, it could have been slowed over time through atmospheric drag.  As it slowed, making it first appear to move east to west as the earth caught up with its slowing speed and then become stationary over Bethlehem as its speed came to match the rotation of the earth.  We have numerous artificial weather satellites that are geosynchronous and remain stationary over long periods of time. As a low orbit object, the atmosphere would continue to erode the meteor’s speed and rapidly cause it to burn up in the atmosphere or send it plunging to earth.

The important thing to remember here is not that it might have a natural explanation, but that the precise geographic location and timing of its geosynchronous stage coincide with the birth place and timing of Jesus’ birth. The odds against this occurring are so astronomical that it can only be orchestrated by God as miraculous.

Darwin, Pangenesis & Acquired Characteristics

Darwin’s Claims

Worker ants of various castes and two large queens
Leaf Cutter Ants – Worker ants of various castes and two large queens

Darwin thought cells were simple bags of gel.  He knew nothing of DNA or any other cellular structures.  He believed that inheritance was through “Gemmules” that each cell shed and that traveled to the gametes (sperm and egg).  Since each cell “voted” it was called pangenesis. He believed that the life experiences of the parents were passed on to their offspring in this way. He believed evolutionary incremental changes occurred by passing these life experiences on to subsequent generations.

Darwin’s Dilemma

Colony insects were a problem for Darwin.  If life experiences were passed on, how does a queen ant, who has never experienced foraging for food, pass on the behavior of the worker ants who hunt for food and bring it back to the colony?

His theory of evolution taught that use and disuse along with adaptation to environmental changes experienced by parents were passed on and were responsible for the changes seen between species by gradual changes over time, coupled with natural selection aka survival of the fittest.  How is this any different from J-B Lamarck’s theory of acquired characteristics, which was discredited as having no foundation?  Did acceptance for Darwin’s theory and not Lamarck’s have more to do with politics and marketing than science?

Modern Evolutionary Biologists’ Dilemma

Obviously, modern evolutionary biologists found pangenesis and inheritance of acquired traits embarrassing, so, in the early 20th century they changed the theory to include genetics with an emphasis on natural selection and called it Neo-Darwinism or the Modern Synthesis. Later, they included DNA and an unsupported assumption that mutations over time gradually built up structures well before they were functional.  Although Darwin is still revered as if he had everything right, this form of Evolutionary theory is grossly different from the original Darwinian theory except for the assumption of natural selection and unlimited gradual changes producing new species over time.


Anti-God Progressive Philosophy Disguised as Science

Anti-God Progressive Philosophy Disguised as Science

Progressive philosophy says the entire universe is naturally progressing from simpler to more complex, from disorganized to organized, toward ultimate perfection without any divine influence or a first cause.  Anti-God progressives have distorted true science in many ways to make it fit this scenario.  Previously, science was viewed as a way to discover the workings of the physical universe without excluding God as a first or sustaining cause.

Science is the pursuit of truth about the predictable, repeatable and measurable aspects of the universe with which we can or could conceivably interact.  It must also be verifiable, falsifiable and testable.  The following theories have attempted to do away with the need for a first cause, but fail to qualify as science in some aspects by this definition.

Darwinian Evolution taught others how to present pseudoscientific philosophies as science by using political tactics to unseat established leaders and to exclude any consideration of God as a guiding or formative influence.  Living things are said to only look designed[1]. The process has only been labeled, not explained.  Change certainly has happened, but the causes and mechanisms are still very much undetermined.

Origin of life theories use molecular evolution scenarios to make it seem that life can naturally arise from dead chemicals without any guidance or influence from any overarching force or God.  None have successfully described how proteins, nucleic acids and lipid, all necessary elements, could have been formed together and combined in a way that resulted in a living being.  The probabilities against it exceed the age and the molecules in the universe. Such probabilities are defined as miraculous.

The Big Bang is evolution writ large; it stopped the infinite series of causes and made it impossible to determine a first cause because nothing could be determined from before that event because “before” is meaningless.  There is no “there” there: no space, no time, no energy, no matter.

Quantum physics is uncaused evolution from nothing.  With its interpretation of subatomic events as indeterminate it removed the need for the first cause.  Suddenly, the entire universe was considered indeterminate and only appeared to be determinate on a macro scale, requiring a first cause or any cause at all.

Catastrophic Climate Change, based almost entirely on computer models, is a modern example of a philosophy disguised as science. It has an immediate socialist agenda to destroy civilization’s real progress based on bad science while ignoring real data.  This is also true of the entire Environmental Movement, which is used to destroy real progress and impose a socialist system of control.

[1] Attributed to Richard Dawkins, an evangelical militant atheist.  Books include The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.