Campaign 2016

E&E Daily editor Kurtz previews convention coverage

How will Donald Trump's pick for vice president shape next week's Republican National Convention? Beginning Monday, E&E Publishing will have a team of reporters on the ground at each convention, covering a variety of energy and environment angles. On today's The Cutting Edge, E&E Daily editor Josh Kurtz previews E&E's convention coverage.


Monica Trauzzi: Welcome to The Cutting Edge. With an announcement of Donald Trump's VP pick scheduled for this weekend, how will the candidate's reported running mate shape next week's Republican convention? E&E has a team of five reporters heading to each convention. Here to preview E&E's coverage is E&E Daily editor Josh Kurtz. Josh, thanks for joining me.

Josh Kurtz: Great to be here. Thank you.

Monica Trauzzi: Josh, you're heading to Cleveland this weekend along with four of our reporters for the Republican convention. What angles, what stories will you all be looking for and working on?

Josh Kurtz: Well, we'll really be covering just about everything. A lot of people assume the convention is just what they see at night in the convention hall, what's on TV during prime time, but really there are events happening all day from early morning till late at night.

A lot of the people we cover here from Capitol Hill are there, a lot of elected officials from all over the country are there, industry groups, environmental groups, they're all there doing their thing, and that's what we cover.

Monica Trauzzi: With the party so divided on next steps, where are you expecting to see the biggest fireworks next week?

Josh Kurtz: Well, it's really hard to say because I can't really recall a party being so divided going into a convention as the Republicans this time around. Trump is just a different kind of candidate, but I think on issues that we cover, energy and environment, he's still pretty much in the Republican mainstream.

You're going to see some speakers talk about the need to protect the industry. There are going to be plenty of people both in the convention hall and at events around town teeing off on the Obama regulatory agenda. I think Trump embraces that.

How prominent it's going to be in the whole tumult that's going on all week in Cleveland, I'm not really sure, but some of our issues and some of the people who are prominent on our issues will definitely be heard.

Monica Trauzzi: It's a very interesting, diverse group of speakers that are slated to be there.

Josh Kurtz: Yes.

Monica Trauzzi: Any specifics on who you think may be driving the message on energy?

Josh Kurtz: Huh. Well, that's hard to say. We know that Donald Trump is close with Harold Hamm, the industry executive who has a speaking role in the convention. He's hearing a lot from Congressman Kevin Cramer from North Dakota, who I don't think as of yet has a formal speaking role. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, one of the big defenders of the coal industry, is speaking. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who's the vice chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, is speaking.

So I think those are some of the people who are going to be driving the Trump message on energy and environment stuff.

Monica Trauzzi: Donald Trump's rumored pick for vice president is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. What do we know about his record on energy and the environment, and how might that play into what we see next week?

Josh Kurtz: Well, he's not really associated with those issues that much, but certainly to the extent that he has spoken out, he has been a skeptic about climate change. Indiana's certainly taken a stance against some of the Obama regulatory regime. When he was in Congress he was very critical of the State Department spending money on international climate work.

So he certainly fits the Republican mold, but he's more associated with social issues generally.

Monica Trauzzi: Following the Republican convention you'll be coming down --

Josh Kurtz: Moving onto Philly.

Monica Trauzzi: Moving onto Philly. So what is the team going to be working on for that one?

Josh Kurtz: Well, it's sort of flip the coin, flip the message, but there'll be a lot of talk there about the environment, about climate, about clean energy. In fact, the day before the convention there's a big rally in downtown Philly for clean energy. So we'll be covering the issues and the players there.

Monica Trauzzi: A lot to watch. We're looking forward to all of it. Thanks for --

Josh Kurtz: Me, too.

Monica Trauzzi: -- coming on the show.

Josh Kurtz: Thanks for having me.

Monica Trauzzi: More Cutting Edge coming next Friday. We'll see you then.

[End of Audio]



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