Donald Trump has promised to roll back regulations and unleash an energy revolution in America — but economists have their doubts about the plan.
The Republican presidential candidate says he will boost America's economic output, create millions of new jobs, and put coal miners back to work. But the windfalls Trump touts originate from a report commissioned by a nonprofit with ties to the energy industry and whose findings rely on a forecasting model that often overstates the benefits of increased drilling, according to economists who have researched the U.S. shale oil and gas revolution.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Immigration and trade have dominated much of the policy conversation this campaign season, but the next president will take office at a crucial time for the energy industry. America's revolution in high-tech oil production has been sidetracked by — and has contributed to — a two-year crude price rout that has bankrupted dozens of domestic energy companies.
While outlining his economic blueprint last month, Trump said that lifting restrictions on oil and gas would increase GDP by more than $127 billion, add about 500,000 jobs, and increase wages by $30 billion each year over over the next seven years.
Those figures come from the Institute for Energy Research, a nonprofit that advocates for a free-market approach to energy. It typically casts fossil fuels as the most economic form of energy generation, promotes research that says green energy jobs are unsustainable, and claims there is an "enormous volume of sensationalized, simplistic and often plain wrong information" on climate change.