Trump environmental policies will take us back decades

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2017

The Clean Power Plan was a long-awaited victory for scientists and environmentalists, only to be scrapped by Trump. He misled miners when he promised a year ago that if he was elected president, he would put them back to work, say some of his opponents.

President Trump is moving forward with his plan to save the fossil fuel industry by removing the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. The White House also signals it will roll back higher fuel efficiency standards for the auto industry, and the Trump budget proposal would gut the Environmental Protection Agency.

But, she added, others thinking about it without making a public announcement may now reconsider if Trump's order on less-restrictive carbon emissions, though the uncertainty of the situation could also affect the industry.

Trump, surrounded by coal miners, signed the order Monday revoking the Obama administration's Clean Power Plant (CPP) rule aimed at reducing carbon pollution.

The Energy Department's Office of International Climate and Clean Energy is now no longer allowed to use language necessary for promoting or even acknowledging the existence of global warming, including phrases "climate change", "emissions reduction" and "Paris Agreement", according to a report by Politico. It could take years - and the ability to turn back court challenges expected from environmental groups - to actually change USA laws.

The Robert W Scherer Power Plant, a coal-fired electricity plant operated by Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, in Juliette, Georgia, U.S. April 1, 2017. By executive order, President Trump has axed the CPP and another vestige of the Obama administration's anti-coal policy, the moratorium on all new leases of federal coal reserves. But there is much more we can, and should, be doing to provide regulatory relief. Huge coal mining companies like Peabody Energy Corp and Arch Coal fell into bankruptcy, and production previous year hit its lowest point since 1978. President Obama's so called "Clean Power Plan" would have done just that - increasing electric costs and forcing coal plants in Missouri to close.

As expected, the executive order prompted criticism from environmentalist groups and acclaim from business leaders and workers in the energy sector. But the plan, opposed mostly by states that are dependent on coal production and coal-fired electricity, is now stalled in the courts.

But we won't be operating under the threat of the almost unattainable Clean Power Plan reductions of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Federal regulations change as administrations change. China and India are taking climate change seriously, even if Trump is not.

"To suggest that the coal industry is a major driver in the creation of jobs is to perhaps not understand that coming along with the coal industry is a whole plethora of perils, some of which are health-related, most of which is the threat to our environment", the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) quoted Lowe as saying in an interview. He gave the assurance that Government would continue "to plough" ahead and look for unique ways to fund the island's coastal rehabilitation green energy programmes. Murray says of coal, "I don't think it will be a thriving industry ever again".

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