During the campaign, President Trump promised American workers that he would create more jobs by rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. Last week, the president visited southern Ohio, and again, he talked about rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.
However, as Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, explains when it comes to U.S. infrastructure:
“Please keep four words in mind: Grow the Electrical Grid!”
Richard Manning worked directly with President Trump on trade issues during Trump’s run for office. Manning also served on Trump’s transition team in the Labor Department.
In a recent EXCLUSIVE interview, Manning shared some insights with PolitiChicks about President Trump’s infrastructure plan and its impact on the electrical grid and the economy:
PC: What kind of demands would President Trump’s plan (to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure) place on the nation’s power grid?
Richard Manning: The economy is not going to be able to grow robustly until we start expanding our electrical grid, which is near capacity after a decade of no expansion. It was eight years of too much regulation by the Obama administration against electricity generation that has put stress on the grid, and now our upside manufacturing growth is capped unless the grid grows to accommodate it.
PC: What steps need to be taken to prepare the nation’s power grid for prime time?
Richard Manning: We have only had one new nuclear power plant in the last 20 years, and only one coal mine opened in the last decade and that was this past week. In order for the economy to grow, that has to change. We have to start building new power plants, with coal and nuclear providing a resilient base for our electric grid infrastructure.
PC: What do you think will happen if the “War on Coal” is allowed to continue?
Richard Manning: Crippling regulations like the Obama Clean Power Plan and new and existing coal power plant regulations will prevent the electric grid, and thus the economy from growing. Meaning, there will be fewer new jobs per capita. After the worst decade of economic growth in U.S. history since we started keeping track of the GDP in the 1930s, the war on coal is really a war on our own economy, good paying jobs and the American dream.
PC: How important is coal to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure?
Richard Manning: Coal is one of the most reliable forms of electricity that we have. The fact is we cannot expand our nation’s infrastructure with building up the electric grid and that means fueling it with coal.
PC: Many coal facilities have been shut down over the past several years. What kind of policies would help ‘reboot’ these facilities so that the power grid will be compatible with the president’s new infrastructure system?
Richard Manning: It is absolutely essential, post-Paris, that Congress and President Trump work together to prohibit the implementation of the new and existing coal power plant regulations issued by the Obama administration, the carbon endangerment finding and other anti-coal rulemakings. Taking these essential steps will allow free markets to take over with resulting investments in the expansion of the grid and, where it makes sense, the reopening of coal-fired utilities that were shut down in the past Administration.
PC: How do you think these “pro coal” policies will impact our economic growth?
Richard Manning: Once President Trump succeeds in getting the federal government’s boot off the throats of the energy sector (particularly coal) of our economy, and clears the way for new power plants to be built, then we will start to see real growth in our energy and electricity sectors. With new capacity on the grid, it will be cheaper to produce goods in the U.S. and help America build new factories. We cannot be a manufacturing powerhouse without more power.
Remember, between coal, oil, natural gas and yes, nuclear, we are on the cusp of being the world’s energy superpower. The abundance of resources within our borders gives the United States a competitive advantage over the rest of the world. But it is only an advantage if we use that energy to provide cheap electricity to power a 21st century reindustrialization of America that creates jobs and wealth.