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Trump's Newest Executive Order- A Stab against the Climate and the American Economy

aahassonjee NJ, United States 0 Ratings 7 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: aahassonjee

Trump's Newest Executive Order- A Stab against the Climate and the American Economy

President Trump yesterday signed a new executive order that rolls back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan at a ceremony at the EPA hosting (with extreme audacity) a delegation of coal-miners. The executive order is intended to protect coal jobs by continuing to run power plants that had been marked for closure under the Clean Power Plan. It also ends the moratorium that prevents new coal power plant leasing on federal lands. It has no mention of the United State’s commitments from the Paris Climate Accords, giving little indication into how the rollback of regulations will affect the administration’s intentions to adhere to the previously agreed upon emissions reductions targets, but certainly leaves room for it to be assumed that these agreements will not be followed.

This is no surprise, but it is a deeply disturbing move by the White House. It is a definite slap in the face to the Obama legacy of emissions reduction policies and plans to help the United States lead the way for a global greenhouse gas reduction following the international agreements from COP21 and COP22. However, this is also a highly flawed economic move for the long-term health of the American energy industry.

The United States is a net exporter of energy, which means that it is already selling most of its energy production worldwide. A massive increase in shale oil that yields reserves of natural gas has also taken the biggest piece of the American energy pie- leaving coal a significantly small portion of the market share. On a labor demand note, the U.S. added 235 thousand jobs last quarter while coal didn’t change from a total of 65 thousand. More and more jobs are being added while coal just isn’t supplying any numbers to become a competitive economic industry in need of protection. Even Robert Murray, CEO of America’s largest coal company, was quoted as saying that “coal can’t be brought back to where it was before the election of Barack Obama.” He went on to suggest that “Mr. Trump temper his expectations” with regards to job creation and coal dependence going forward. Given that he just announced the creation of a new White House office to engage with private sector interests, and ALWAYS talked about running America with the interests of businesses in mind, shouldn’t our new president listen to what coal leaders are telling him?

Globally, there was a 48% drop in planned coal units and a 62% drop in construction starts for coal plants. The United States and Europe have already removed 120 large coal units out of commission due to market forces alone. China and India are leading the way now with policies that will curb emissions and enforce energy standards to kill coal even more, meaning that if the United States refuses to catch up, they will fall significantly behind both in the fight against climate change and the economic standpoint of having a competitive energy portfolio in the market.

Court battles over regulation rollbacks emissions standards are sure to ensue, but this executive order needs to be fought against by the people and here’s how you can do it:
- Call this number set up through NextGen Climate to urge your Governor to protect clean energy in your state: 202-558-4027
- Tell your Senators to keep fossil fuels in the ground by supporting Senator Merkley’s Keep it in the Ground Act: https://goo.gl/oEghQU

Sources:
http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/16/investing/trump-coal-jobs-murray-energy/
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/climate/trump-executive-order-climate-change.html?_r=0
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=29433
http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/politics/kushner-american-innovation-white-house/

Reply
Allison Friedman Weston, MA, united-states 0 Ratings 332 Discussions 88 Group posts

Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

It would seem clearly beneficial to all work together on a transition to a more sustainable economy, one in which we help coal miners and others with healthier, clean energy and other jobs. This current anti-environment political climate is perplexing and disheartening to ay the least. We should all be working together for a competitive, cleaner economy and working with other countries towards a cleaner, healthier planet. Any other course of action can not make sense and will have consequences.

Here's the the activism and activists it's going to take to change the course of this ship back to where we were, ...and far better. And still, there are going to be irreversible effects and species we will not see again. Fortunately, there are a lot of people and officials out there who do care. So we can also work to report the good news, too. We're going to need it.

 

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