Washingtonpost.com:

President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.

The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.

The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots.

“This policy is in keeping with President Trump’s desire to make the United States energy independent,” said a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the directive Monday evening and asked for anonymity to speak in advance of the announcement. “When it comes to climate change, we want to take our course and do it in our own form and fashion.”

Some of the measures could take years to implement and are unlikely to alter broader economic trends that are shifting the nation’s electricity mix from coal-fired generation to natural gas and renewables. The order is silent on whether the United States should withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, under which it has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005 levels, because the administration remains divided on that question.

Trump’s executive order is aimed at appeasing his base in coal mining country.  Sources reveal that about 70,000 jobs are currently in coal mining compared to 650,000 in renewable energy (wind, solar, biofuels).

Coal is trending down.  There just isn’t a strong market for coal.  Other sources of energy are just cheaper, cleaner, and more current.   Trump’s promises of bringing coal mining back to West Virginia are simply not going to happen.  It is a fading industry.  You can mine all the coal in the world but if no one wants it, where does it get you?

Another grab for low hanging fruit, Trump.  Last I heard, many of the people he is trying to appease have begun to realize they were duped.   Health care vs. coal mining?  Not a winning ticket.  It seems to me that Trump needs to start some initiatives to move jobs not involved with coal into the economically depressed areas where coal mining used to be prevalent.  Anyone who has bragged about one’s business acumens as much as Trump should be able to at least modernize those areas and attract new businesses and train the former coal miners to do new, safer jobs.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Climate protections: Shame! Shame! Shame on Trump!

  1. Jerome Doublas

    There are so many inaccuracies in this post it’s going to take a while to respond… I’ll get to it when I’ve got some time but something that pops right out at first glance is the number of jobs in the coal industry you stated from sources. Those numbers do not seem accurate from the last time I looked at this issue and the only reason why they are so low is because of the 8 years long war on coal by President Obama.

    Also, it could be argued that Hillary Clinton’s promise to put coal miners out of work was a contributing factor to her losing to President Trump. So when dismiss this action by President Trump as just Another grab for low hanging fruit it comes across as condescending and a yet another reminder of why not only Hillary lost but Democrats have been losing for the past several years now.

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    1. Its pretty low hanging. I believe that the 70k figure involves coal mine related jobs, not just mining.
      Speaking of inaccuracies–I don’t believe that is exactly how Hillary phrased her comments. She didn’t promise to put anyone out of work.

      What are the benefits of coal mining, in your mind? Certainly not the danger and related diseases that accompany the industry. I am not sure how Trump would “bring back coal mining” to WVA, Va, Penn, and other states.

      Oh and where your hero Trump is concerned, I make no apologies if I come across as condescending. I would prefer distain but condescending works in a pinch.

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    2. Robin Hood

      Jerome Doublas,

      There’s no point in debating estimates of coal miners going back to work when we can wait and see what happens. The only clear winners here are the coal mine operators. We need to pay attention to what happens next. Do they hire back the miners or replace them with machinery?

      I know Trump supporters like to change the subject when reality embarrasses them, but Clinton lost and she’s not the problem now. Trump is having a tough time measuring up to the job. But he was right about one thing. There really are people who would still support him if he went out on 5th Avenue and shot someone.

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      1. Especially if that someone was an “illegal!”

        I expect we will be waiting a long time to see the resurgence of coal mines.

        The number of black lung cases and other related coal caused diseases costs Americans a fortune each year, not to mention the cost to the miner and his family. Why should our government be re-establishing an industry that harms so many people? To deny that coal harms people is like denying the awful, deadly effects of agent orange.

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  2. Kelly_3406

    You might be right that not many coal jobs will be revived, but it is better to let the free market rather than the government dictate their fate. Many of the jobs in renewables came about due to government subsidies of the industry. We shall see if these survive in the free market.

    My grandfather used to work as a coal miner — he was grateful for the opportunity to get work in a region where coal was the major industry. He used to tell us stories about what it was like to work in the mines, but was adamantly opposed to anyone else in the family having to do it. Politicians have been working for 30 years to bring new businesses and industry to the area, but with little success. I am not sure why it is hard to grow the economy in this area.

    It seems to me that a logical compromise might be to fund research for clean burning of coal. The US has huge reserves of coal and could easily export it to developing regions like China and Africa.

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    1. Your grandfather would probably be about my parents’ age I am assuming. Everyone I know from coal mining areas basically says it is just a hell of a way to have to make a living. I think a good compromise would be tax incentives to go to companies who went into coal areas and retrained workers.

      I have no problem with government involvement with business as long as it is on the up and up. The problem with business having a free rein and reign has always been greed and not giving a crap about people, the environment or anything but profit. Look at company stores, housing, safety, health, environment when there were no unions or no government involvement. Companies ran rough shod on almost everything.

      I don’t mean to limit my stance to just coal mining. That’s one of the reasons I support National Parks as strongly as I do. If places of wonder were privately owned, the public could not enjoy the resources of this country.

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      1. Kelly_3406

        MoonHowler,

        Government employment does not automatically confer someone with a halo. Federal workers are not any more or less honorable than the people and businesses that they purport to regulate for the common good.

        I submit that many regulations have more to do with power and political agenda than they do with the health, safety and welfare of citizens. The onerous regulation of coal is an example of that. Rather than focusing on workplace safety and funding to reduce emissions, the previous administration used heavy-handed regulation to force it out of existence.

        The use of regulatory authority to advance a political agenda is an abuse of power in my opinion. But now it is done so often, there is often very little pushback.

        The growth of federal power and the ruthless use of this power is what gave us Trump.

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      2. What gave us Trump are people who voted for a really horrible candidate. I certainly saw through him.

        I also don’t recall saying that I thought government employees wore halos. However, government policies should be designed to protect people and resources, within the confines of the Constitution. In fact, that is sort of the main idea.

        If there are onerous regulations, then the people need to ban together to get rid of the onerous regs. I suspect that it is actually a one side vs the other situation. Can you cite a few examples of regulations under the Obama administration that most of us would consider onerous and would force coal mining out of existence?

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      3. Kelly_3406

        MoonHowler,

        The Clean Power Plan is an example of onerous regulation. The CPP has done very little to reduce emissions, but was destined to substantially increase the cost of electricity as it forced the closure of coal-fueled power plants.

        Emissions were reduced far more by the increased use of natural gas, which is now cost competitive due to fracking. This was the result of the free market at work–the government had nothing to do with it.

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      4. Why do you want coal fueled power plants? There are so many alternatives that don’t have the pollutant factor.

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    2. Robin Hood

      Kelly_3406,

      If it’s 4:31 AM on your time stamp then it’s about half past noon in Moscow.

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      1. Kelly_3406

        Robin Hood,

        Some of us still work. The early morning, when there are fewer distractions, is a great time for professional reading and writing.

        I have indeed been to Moscow, but not this week. Have you ever been there?

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  3. Robin Hood

    Kelly_3406,

    First of all, April Fool!

    I’m retired and at my age I find travel across time zones very difficult. Going to Reno and Lake Tahoe sealed the deal. I prefer to travel north and south to places such as Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

    The closest I’ve been to Moscow was Palm Beach.

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  4. Pat.Herve

    The abundance of Natural Gas in the US is the demise of the Coal industry. It is market forces that have decimated that industry. Is it a highly regulated industry – yes it is. And when there is a mine disaster – it is usually made worse because the mine owner/operator did not follow those regulations.

    Ask any power generator – if they want a coal plant or a gas plant – Gas is the way to go. I will pay a few dollars to breath cleaner air.

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    1. Market forces and yes, technology, have pushed coal aside. Isn’t that a conservative notion?

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  5. middleman

    Anyone who thinks Trump will bring mining jobs back has no understanding of the energy market or manufacturing in general. As others have pointed out, natural gas is what killed coal jobs, along with mechanization – a ton of coal is produced now with only about 10% of the workers needed 30 years ago.

    And anyone who thinks coal isn’t subsidized just isn’t paying attention. Think about coal ash, environmental destruction, tiny fees for extraction, tax breaks, etc. Clean energy is exploding (pun intended) all over the world and the cost is now a fraction what it was 10 years ago not because of government subsidies but because it’s the “fuel” of the future.

    As for alleged failed efforts to provide other jobs in Appalachia and elsewhere, I suggest you research the areas in W.Va. that have gone with tourism based economies rather than coal. They have thriving towns and sustainable economies rather than disease and environmental destruction.

    This is another example of a cynical politician telling people what they want to hear to get elected with no possible way to deliver for them. Sad.

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    1. West Virginia should look at Utah as a model. So much of the southern portion of Utah has a tourist based economy, thriving on all those beautiful national parks. West Virginia has its own beauty. New River National River is gorgeous. Perhaps more emphasis on tourism would benefit all.

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