President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question USA support for an worldwide deal to fight global warming.
Shipments of USA metallurgical coal, used in the production of steel, have recently shown up in China following a two-year hiatus in part to offset banned shipments from North Korea and temporary delays from cyclone-hit Australian producers.
Two weeks later, when the administration made a decision to abandon the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Pruitt and President Trump said it was to save the coal industry. The intent is clear: to reduce federal environmental regulations that are hastening the demise of coal-burning power plants across the U.S. The impact is cloudier: the rule's review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and any potential legal challenges could take years to play out. It's a frontal assault on all the Obama-era regulations that aimed at curbing climate change.
"We are going to start a new energy revolution, one that celebrates American production on American soil".
Just a few months ago, those waging the War on Coal felt like they were on the precipice of victory. In a world in which green energy is becoming more economically feasible, the U.S.is only disadvantaged by allowing its reliance on established industries to override all other interests. "But Trump can be a one-termer, so the reprieve out there is short".
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeff Wood said March 31 that he would not participate in the case over the Clean Power Plan due to his work before joining the Justice Department.
The Obama administration rules were meant to cut carbon dioxide from power plants by a third from 2005 levels by 2030.
The minister said while the USA president was "decrying" the legitimacy of climate change, 2016 had been labelled as the warmest ocean temperature year.
Police aim to curb texting while driving during April initiative
Although using a hand-held cell phone or texting while driving is illegal in New Jersey, the practice appears to be widespread. This is a nine percent increase over the previous year in the number of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving.
The U.S. coal industry, without increases in domestic demand, would need to rely on export markets for growth.
All this is no surprise from an administration that seems to relish attacking science at almost every turn - cutting funding for the National Institutes of Health and medical and pharmaceutical research; nullifying a rule created to tighten restrictions on the dumping of mining waste into streams; and, last week, rejecting a finding by the government's own scientists that a pesticide linked to health problems and learning disabilities should be banned from farms.
Wind and solar farms have become cheaper to build, making them good investments in place of aging, costly, fossil-fuel plants. The administration is also rolling back a proposal to provide aid to states and reward early compliance with the plan.
Puget Sound Energy reached an agreement with the Sierra Club and the Montana Environmental Information Center past year to close down its two dirtiest coal plants by July 1, 2022.
In short, Trump's killing of the Clean Power Plan is a handout to dirty industry with no regard for the well-being of coal miners.
"There may not be immediate plans for utilities to bring on more coal, but the future is always uncertain in this market", he said. As coal is trying to stabilize into a "new normal" that has seen it fall in the last decade from providing about 50 percent of America's electricity to just over 30 percent, our new normal needs to be as passionate about valuing and innovating all America's energy options: oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear and coal.
In the meantime, activist investors have increased pressure on US utilities to shun coal. It will help some miners and many consumers of electricity.
Another eight companies, including Southern Co and NorthWestern Corp, are "under observation" by the fund. Some coal-fired power plants will stay in operation longer, and there may be an expansion in coal extraction, but most of that is likely to occur not in West Virginia, for example, but out West, where much of the mining is done with automated machines that won't translate into more jobs for coal miners. "So, that's what's going to drive coal out of business".