March 29, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Established U.S. Energy Policy ‘Harder to Uproot Than Thought’

Rachel Maddow Blog:

This is clearly a major development, but it kicks off a larger conflict. As Vox’s report explained, “Trump’s administration will now spend years trying to rewrite rules and fend off legal challenges from environmentalists. And it’s not clear they’ll always prevail: Some of President Obama’s climate policies may prove harder to uproot than thought.”

That’s certainly true, though it’s still an international embarrassment for the United States to abandoned its leadership role; it risks exacerbating the existing crisis; and it makes it very unlikely we’ll meet our own goals and targets as part of the Paris Accord.

But as this process unfolds, it’s worth remembering that much of today’s regressive shift is built on falsehoods – and not just about science.

This is clearly a major development, but it kicks off a larger conflict. As Vox’s report explained, “Trump’s administration will now spend years trying to rewrite rules and fend off legal challenges from environmentalists. And it’s not clear they’ll always prevail: Some of President Obama’s climate policies may prove harder to uproot than thought

As this process unfolds, it’s worth remembering that much of today’s regressive shift is built on falsehoods – and not just about science.

USA Today noted, for example, “The order makes good on Trump’s promise to end what he called a ‘war on coal,’ and to bring back coal jobs. ‘I made them this promise. We will put our miners back to work,’ Trump said Tuesday.”

No, actually he won’t.

[T]he US coal industry is dying regardless of anything Trump does, said industry experts, with fewer than 100,000 jobs now largely concentrated in Appalachian states.

“It won’t add any coal jobs, but it will set back the country as a leader on the environment,” finance director Tom Sanzillo of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis based in Cleveland told BuzzFeed News. Coal is a declining industry that serves up a product, energy, that costs more than wind, solar, and natural gas.

“That isn’t going to change and the fundamentals are inescapable,” Sanzillo said. “Nobody in the industry has a serious plan to reverse that.”

Robert Murray, head of the largest private US coal firm, Murray Coal, for example, told The Guardian on Monday that Trump should “temper his expectations” on reviving coal industry jobs, adding: “He can’t bring them back.”

A New York Times report added, “[C]oal miners also should not assume their jobs will return if Trump’s regulations take effect.” The article an energy economist added that “we could see a decrease in coal jobs,” even with Trump’s regressive agenda.

Targeting climate policy, Trump makes a promise he can’t keep

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