Trump tosses Obama's 'clean' energy plan, embraces coal

March 28, 2017 by Matthew Daly And Jill Colvin
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, third from left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, signs an Energy Independence Executive Order, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at EPA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Declaring "the start of a new era" in energy production, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that he said would revive the coal industry and create jobs.

The move makes good on his campaign pledge to unravel former President Barack Obama's plan to curb global warming. The order seeks to suspend, rescind or flag for review more than a half-dozen measures in an effort to boost domestic energy production in the form of fossil fuels.

Environmental activists, including former Vice President Al Gore, denounced the plan. But Trump said the effort would allow workers to "succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time."

"That is what this is all about: bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams and making America wealthy again," Trump said, during a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, attended by a number of coal miners.

The order initiates a review of the Clean Power Plan, which restricts greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. The regulation, which was the former president's signature effort to curb carbon emissions, has been the subject of long-running legal challenges by Republican-led states and those who profit from burning oil, coal and gas.

But just as Obama's climate efforts were often stymied by legal challenges, environmental groups are promising to fight Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda in court.

Trump has called global warming a "hoax" invented by the Chinese, and has repeatedly criticized the power-plant rule as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry.

In addition to pulling back from the Clean Power Plan, the administration will also lift a 14-month-old moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

The Obama administration had imposed a three-year moratorium on new federal coal leases in January 2016, arguing that the $1 billion-a-year program must be modernized to ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers and address .

Trump accused his predecessor of waging a "war on coal" and boasted in a speech to Congress that he has made "a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations," including some that threaten "the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners."

The order will also chip away at other regulations, including scrapping language on the "social cost" of greenhouse gases. It will initiate a review of efforts to reduce the emission of methane in oil and natural gas production as well as a Bureau of Land Management hydraulic fracturing rule, to determine whether those reflect the president's policy priorities.

It will also rescind Obama-era executive orders and memoranda, including one that addressed climate change and national security and one that sought to prepare the country for the impacts of climate change.

In this March 16, 2017, file photo, proposals for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in President Donald Trump's first budget are displayed at the Government Printing Office in Washington. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on March 29 that will suspend, rescind, or flag for review more than half-a-dozen measures that were part of former President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to curb global warming. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

The administration is still in discussion about whether it intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Trump's order could make it more difficult, though not impossible, for the U.S. to achieve its carbon reduction goals. The president's promises to boost coal jobs run counter to market forces, such as U.S. utilities converting coal-fired power plants to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas.

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, alarmed environmental groups and scientists earlier this month when he said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. The statement is at odds with mainstream scientific consensus and Pruitt's own agency.

The overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed studies and climate scientists agree the planet is warming, mostly due to man-made sources, including carbon dioxide, methane, halocarbons and nitrogen oxide.

Opponents say Obama's effort would have killed jobs and driven up electricity costs. The Obama administration, some Democratic-led states and environmental groups counter that it would spur thousands of clean-energy jobs and help the U.S. meet ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution set by the international agreement signed in Paris.

Trump's order on follows an executive order he signed last month mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution. The order instructs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to review a rule that redefined "waters of the United States" protected under the Clean Water Act to include smaller creeks and wetlands.

While Republicans have blamed Obama-era environmental regulations for the loss of coal jobs, federal data shows that U.S. mines have been shedding jobs for decades under presidents from both parties as a result of increasing automation and competition from , which has become more abundant through hydraulic fracturing. Another factor is the plummeting cost of solar panels and wind turbines, which now can produce emissions-free electricity cheaper than burning coal.

According to an Energy Department analysis released in January, mining now accounts for fewer than 75,000 U.S. jobs. By contrast, renewable energy—including wind, solar and biofuels—now accounts for more than 650,000 U.S. jobs.

The Trump administration's plans drew praise from business groups and condemnation from environmental groups.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue praised the president for taking "bold steps to make regulatory relief and energy security a top priority."

"These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration's strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy," he said.

Former Vice President Al Gore blasted the order as "a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come."

"It is essential, not only to our planet, but also to our economic future, that the United States continues to serve as a global leader in solving the climate crisis by transitioning to clean energy, a transition that will continue to gain speed due to the increasing competiveness of solar and wind," he said in a statement.

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23 comments

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rderkis
1 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2017
Great!!!!
Priorities, priorities.
Make America Great Again, FIRST!
Then go back to working on the environment.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2017
It's weird to see that China has now become the good guy among the superpowers.

How Trump's decision to push dying (and more expensive) technologies is going to make America great* again is anybody's guess.

* whatever 'great' means. Anybody have a definition for that? I can't really find a definition that would coincide with anything Trump has done or is planning on doing. Currently all he's doing is sabotaging America's future. In that Putin's puppet is doing a bang-up job.
gkam
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2017
Trump cannot bring back any coal jobs. Even coal magnates admit that.

https://www.thegu...ld-trump

People do not want the nasty stuff, and now, alternatives are cheaper.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (7) Mar 28, 2017
Trump cannot bring back any coal jobs
He has not the least intention to bring coal jobs back. Never did. They can't be brought back, there is on demand for increased output. His mission is to make the last of the coal production and use as profitable as possible for the mine owners and operators who burn it.

He drained his swamp of the gators and nutrias, and stocked it with the piranhas and rats. The Repub-Skippys are loving it for now, but they never have been able to play the long game. For the next 2 to 4 years they better get what they can to last a good long while, because after this couyon, they won't get another chance for years.

Oh yeah, I almost forget. @ rederkus-Skippy. Yeah I am still smarter AND better looking than Trump-Skippy. (And Mrs-Ira-Skippette is still way better looking than Mrs-Trump-Skippy, all of them.)
gkam
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2017
" . . stocked it with the piranhas and rats . .
---------------------------------

You forgot the snakes.

Meanwhile, . . Comey may have a big crew silently working with that Spanish guy, . . RICO.

We may have to save Camp X-Ray at Gitmo.
Uncle Ira
5 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2017
You forgot the snakes.


Snakes don't bother me none. They keep the rodents under control.
rderkis
1 / 5 (2) Mar 28, 2017
better looking than Trump-Skippy. (And Mrs-Ira-Skippette is still way better looking than Mrs-Trump-Skippy, all of them


Yep,that's really important.
manfredparticleboard
4.6 / 5 (10) Mar 29, 2017
Trump tosses Obama's 'clean' energy plan, embraces coal...wears silk top hat, leaves whitehouse in horse drawn buggy. Spoke to media via telex. "Coal is a most efficacious means by which we shall supply motive force to traction engines and steamships." He said.
Stock prices rose in the cotton mills, sugar plantations and slave brokerage houses.

antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2017
Trump tosses Obama's 'clean' energy plan, embraces coal...wears silk top hat, leaves whitehouse in horse drawn buggy. Spoke to media via telex. "Coal is a most efficacious means by which we shall supply motive force to traction engines and steamships." He said.
Stock prices rose in the cotton mills, sugar plantations and slave brokerage houses.

...you owe me a new keyboard.

@rederkis: Since you seem to be the only person alive on this planet that thinks Trump is great and is making America great again: How about you give us a definition what 'great' means in this context? Seems you don't even know that yourself from what you post (neither does Trump seem to know what he means by that, BTW)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2017
yeah, I almost forget. @ rederkus-Skippy. Yeah I am still smarter AND better looking than Trump-Skippy
-So's everyone else and their pets. Im not impressed.

Lets not forget, AGW creates new jobs in real estate and construction as pops are forced to relocate northward. It depopulates the most contentious and strife-ridden regions of the globe. And it provides another reason to relocate off-planet.

I am being at least or at most half serious about this.

AGW has already forced the development of alternative energies and materials which are directly applicable to off-world colonization.

I dont think this was a coincidence.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2017
Seems you don't even know that yourself from what you post (neither does Trump seem to know what he means by that, BTW)
-How would you know? Your sources of info are hopelessly biased and your preconceptions are as well.

Youre fine with making decisions based on a lack of info.
Zzzzzzzz
5 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2017
No utilities are looking at investing in coal fired new power generation. No utilities are planning on keeping old coal fired plants running based on the blowhard in Washington. No independent Power Producers are building coal plants. The current price of Natural Gas along with Saudi Arabia's energy strategy will prevent any material from entering the new pipeline, build it or not. Oil prices would have to more than double from their current price to support any of it, even at an insignificant level.
Trump is a dumb phark, just as soon as he steps away from his familiar con game territory. He proves that from minute to minute. So, he periodically "holds a rally" of get back to the familiar territory, where he can con a crowd of low intelligence dumb pharks.
gkam
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2017
All this is in danger of getting caught by that Spanish guy, . . what's his name?

Oh yeah, . . RICO.

Ask the FBI about him.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2017
Hi rderkis. :)

I invite you to step outside that self-admiration room 'hall of mirrors' Trump brought into 'USA-town' to con the gullible and profit his mercenary/political 'associates' (including his Russian and Chinese Oligarchs/Politicians funneling black money to their agents/traitors sabotaging political/economic America/other Western Democracies which have until now prevented us all from being either Russian or Chinese subjects/'client' states. :)

Out here, in Reality World, everything I have long pointed out for AGW deniers/propagandists (especially "antigoracle") re evolving reality of Global Warming is coming to pass!

Most recently/specifically in OZ (QUEENSLAND; extending soon into NSW as well)!

I long pointed out evolving AGW disaster under our noses!

I long advised everyone to LOOK and CONCLUDE for YOURSELVES!

NOTE RAPIDLY CHANGING global climatic PATTERNS NOW: more frequent, severe, extensive, persistent, UNUSUAL, UNSEASONAL 'back-to-back' disasters!
rderkis
1 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2017
Reality_check, your views on climate change might be persuasive but since you can't be objective on what President Trump has achieved how can I believe your being objective on climate change?
Achievements
40% reduction in illegal aliens.
Soaring stock market.
Jobs report looking really good!
Small business confidence way up.
Consumer confidence way up.
Companies are canceling there plans to move overseas left and right :-)
Our enemies hate us more :-)
Our friends overseas are starting to realize their free lunch days are over.
etc.
gkam
Mar 29, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2017
Hi rderkis. :)
Reality_check, your views on climate change might be persuasive but since you can't be objective on what President Trump has achieved how can I believe your being objective on climate change?...
It is apparent you are new to my posting record of many years, mate. It is precisely because I AM SCRUPULOUSLY INDEPENDENT OBJECTIVE researcher, observer and commenter, across all scientific/logics disciplines/fields, that I attract the ire of many on BOTH 'sides' in many arguments here. That is because I always try to calm the conversation down by reminding that it is the idea/facts and NOT the person/source which should be the determining factor for concluding anything abut the issue.

continued....
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 29, 2017
@rderkis continued:

Now, as for your list of 'achievements' by Trump, it may be you that is naive/uninformed sufficiently to see through those claims. CONSIDER: - all economic activity has inbuilt LAG TIME of months/years; so much of the good things happening NPW are result f OBAMA Presidency/Efforts (despite constan Conservative/Republican RESISTANCE and sabotage! - and USA's 'friends' are being disrespected and alienated ON PURPSE by Trump )an agent of Putin/China and their Oligarchs; all under the guise of empty slogan of "make america great again"...which many have fallen for but are realizing how empty/counterproductive it really is.

again continued...

RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2017
@rderkis again continued:

Mate, I suggest strongly you do not let yourself become yet another one of the many gullibles who ALWAYS fall for the conmen spiels which are trotted out when some crook and their cronies WANT TO SUCK you dry and THEN LEAVE TOWN with you "holding the baby" of costs/shambles left behind; that is the usual way it goes with Capitalist/Entrepreneur CONS....they PRIVATIZE PROFITEERING then SOCIALIZE THE COSTS which their profiteering cons leave behind for YOU to pay for!

TRUISM: THERE'S A SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE!....and most of them seem to be born in the USA...as history shows all too tragically from time to time. Anyhow, rderkis, please try to look beyond immediate political/religious/mercenary/egotistical self-interests. Learn more objectively and assiduously about the cross-displine and wider context behind every important issue you encounter/consider...especially if those issues involve complex and longterm dynamics/evolutions. Good luck, mate. :)
dustywells
not rated yet Apr 02, 2017
A lot of hot air and puffery about Trump and Climate Change. With the costs and logistics involved, ask yourself now, "Who is going to buy the coal?"
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
Few want it now.

China closed the last coal power plant in Beijing already, and is the world leader in renewables.

Coal power (even dirty coal), is $30/MWh, and wind is $20/Mwh. Which one sells their power? Which one would you buy?
dustywells
5 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2017
"Few want it now. "

Exactly. With the transportation costs of coal and the ongoing maintenance required, no more coal fired generating plants will be built. Cost of renewbles is even beating out gas fired plant construction.

That leaves the steel making industry as the most likely highest volume coal user. Unless we are happy with Chinese and Korean steel for our cars, rails, pipes and highrise buildings, we need some coal until we find an economical way to make new steel without coal or find a reliable substitute for steel. Recycled steel is already made with electric arc furnaces.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2017
"Recycled steel is already made with electric arc furnaces."
-------------------------------

And electric induction, as well.

Do not go near an arc furnace unless you have earplugs and expect to be surprised.

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