President Donald Trump signed a long-promised executive order on Tuesday, nullifying President Obama’s efforts to curb climate change. In doing so, President Trump continues his deregulation of American businesses and furthers his quest to revive the coal industry.
In response to the executive order a White House official said, “the previous administration devalued workers by their policies. We are saying we can do both. We can protect the environment and provide people with work”. And at the signing of this executive order the President remarked,
The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom, and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete, and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, fellas…
That is what this is all about: bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams — and making America wealthy again.
My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We’re going to have clean coal — really clean coal. With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations. (Applause.) And, by the way, regulations not only in this industry, but in every industry. We’re doing them by the thousands, every industry. And we’re going to have safety, we’re going to have clean water, we’re going to have clear air. But so many are unnecessary, and so many are job killing. We’re getting rid of the bad ones.
Wealth, jobs, decreased government overreach, sounds great.
Then there’s this:
Phil Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center, which specializes in climate change research: “The executive order issued today puts the United States in the disgraceful and disadvantageous position of being alone among 195 nations in not recognizing the pervasive threat of global climate change.”
California Governor Jerry Brown: “Gutting the Clean Power Plan is a colossal mistake and defies science itself. Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump’s mind, but nowhere else.”
Last year the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that environmental regulations “have played a secondary role” in coal’s falling market share.
Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: “Trying to make fossil fuels remain competitive in the face of a booming clean renewable power sector, with the clean air and plentiful jobs it continues to generate, is going against the flow of economics.”
Greg Gershuny, of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program: “The decrease in coal by the electricity sector is because of economic reasons, as it has been outcompeted by low-cost natural gas.”
David Doniger, director of climate and clean air at the Natural Resource Defense Council: “The saddest part of this whole thing is Trump is raising false hopes in coal country for a revival that will never happen.”
Robert Stinson, who operates a small coal mine in West Virginia: “The market’s going to be what the market is, and that’s what’s going to set the demand.”
MSNBC’s Cal Perry: “We don’t rely on coal anymore. And in fact, a week ago — I want to read you a quote. In Ohio, they’re shutting down two coal plants and the quote from the company is, ‘“It has become clear that without significant changes in market conditions, the plants will not be economically viable.”’
Patrick Hickey, a political science professor at West Virginia University: “It becomes a powerful political rhetorical appeal to hearken back because even if you’re not directly connected to the industry, you may know family members or relatives or ancestors who were. It’s political suicide to tell citizens the truth about coal.”
And via FiveThirtyEight.com:
In other words, no to everything said by the White House and President Donald Trump.
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