President Trump is many things. Tree-hugger isn't one of them.
During a speech at a House Republican retreat in Baltimore Thursday, the president railed against green technology, including energy-efficient lightbulbs, which he said make him look orange.
"People said, 'What's with the lightbulb?' I said, 'here's the story,'" President Trump began. "And I looked at it. The bulb that we're being forced to use, number one to me, most importantly, the light's no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst."
The president's remark elicited laughter from the audience as it alluded to the common joke among his detractors that he has orange skin. He then went on to praise incandescent bulbs as being cheaper and safer than their energy-efficient counterparts.
"But, number two, it's many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well. And, very importantly, I don't know if you know this, they have warnings. If it breaks, it's considered a hazardous waste site."
"And read what they say," he continued. "'If it breaks, bring it to your local whatever. Have it wrapped. Have it this.' What are we doing? What are we doing?"
The president's comments came not long after his administration lifted energy efficiency regulations earlier this month for several types of light bulbs.
The scrapped rules were made in the last days of the Obama administration and would have gone into effect in January.
The regulations would have required production of energy-efficient versions, such as LEDs, of various common light bulbs, including recessed reflector bulbs and three-way incandescent.
According to the Trump administration, these rules would have caused light bulb prices to soar to untenable levels.
Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes explained that current law requires light bulb regulations "only when doing so would be economically justified," and said the Obama administration's regulations did not meet that standard.
The Obama regulations "would increase the price ... by almost 300%, leaving the cost burden on American consumers and businesses" Hynes asserted. "This action will ensure that the choice of how to light homes and businesses is left to the American people, not the federal government."
One critic of the Trump administration's decision, Noah Horowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council, claimed that abandoning the light bulb regulations "could cost the average US household more than $100 per year, adding $14 billion to Americans' annual energy bills as of 2025, and require at least 25 power plants' worth of extra electricity annually."
One might argue, of course, that, assuming green alternatives are more efficient, manufacturers still have the freedom to produce them and consumers have the freedom to purchase them if they want.
But President Trump didn't stop at light bulbs. He also criticized the Paris Climate Accords, which he pulled the United States out of during his first year in office.
"How's that working out for Paris?" the president asked. Referring to the country's Yellow Vest protestors, he added that the French "didn't like all of that money being sent to people that they'd never heard of the country which they came."
President Trump defended his position to end America's involvement in the deal, saying, "They were going to take away our wealth. They were going to say we can't do certain businesses. We can't take the oil and gas. We can't do anything. This would have been one of the great travesties."
According to the National Economic Research Associates, the Paris Climate Accord would have cost Americans $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs by 2040. And, as the president noted, the world's largest polluters like China and India would not have been held to the same strict standards as the United States.
On the same day the president delivered his speech at the House Republican Retreat, the EPA announced the repeal of an Obama-era rule that extended federal protection to streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
The president went on to promise "substantially" less expensive cars-presumably due to upcoming regulatory changes - before taking shots at the Green New Deal championed by progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The Green New Deal would mean "no more cows. No more planes and I guess no more people, right?" he said.
In a jab at the growing number of state and local bans on plastic bags and straws, President Trump asked, "Then they talk about plastic straws. I said, 'What about the plate? What about the wrapper that's made up of a tougher plastic? What about all the other plastic?'"
He reassured the audience: "We won't let Democrats obliterate the plastic industry and cripple working class families with sky-high energy prices."