Fulfilling yet another campaign promise, the Trump administration has eliminated “climate change” from its list of national security threats, preferring instead to “embrace energy dominance.”
The national security strategy (NSS) released on Monday stressed the importance of balancing energy security with economic development and environmental protection while rejoicing in America’s energy independence as an achievement to be proud of.
“Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” the national security strategy states. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”
During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump mocked President Obama’s consideration of climate change as a threat to national security. In his campaign speech in Hilton Head, South Carolina, for example, Trump sought to contextualize “climate change” among the many real threats faced by the American people.
“So Obama’s always talking about the global warming, that global warming is our biggest and most dangerous problem,” Trump said. “I mean, even if you’re a believer in global warming, ISIS is a big problem, Russia’s a problem, China’s a problem. We’ve got a lot of problems. By the way, the maniac in North Korea is a problem. He actually has nuclear weapons, right? That’s a problem.”
The new NSS incarnates this approach, emphasizing national security and economic growth over the supposed threat of global warming.
“For the first time in generations, the United States will be an energy-dominant nation,” the communique states. “Energy dominance—America’s central position in the global energy system as a leading producer, consumer, and innovator—ensures that markets are free and U.S. infrastructure is resilient and secure,” it adds.
In his Rose Garden speech in which he announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, President Trump made clear that he believed that the agreement disadvantaged the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers and taxpayers to “absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”
This agreement, Trump said, “is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”
In that speech, the president observed that the United States has “among the most abundant energy reserves on the planet, sufficient to lift millions of America’s poorest workers out of poverty,” while the accord would effectively put these reserves “under lock and key, taking away the great wealth of our nation.”
Staying in the agreement would have posed serious obstacles for the United States as “we begin the process of unlocking the restrictions on America’s abundant energy reserves,” the president added.
According to the new NSS, access to “domestic sources of clean, affordable, and reliable energy underpins a prosperous, secure, and powerful America for decades to come.”
“Unleashing these abundant energy resources—coal, natural gas, petroleum, renewables, and nuclear—stimulates the economy and builds a foundation for future growth,” the strategy continues. “Our Nation must take advantage of our wealth in domestic resources and energy efficiency to promote competitiveness across our industries.”
The new strategy does not diminish the American commitment to environmental responsibility but integrates ecological awareness with economic realism.
“We are committed to supporting energy initiatives that will attract investments, safeguard the environment, strengthen our energy security, and unlock the enormous potential of our shared region,” the text states.
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