Bevin: Climate Change Regulations 'Not Based On Science'

Peter Castro
March 30, 2017

President Donald Trump yesterday (28 March) signed an order to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question United States support for an worldwide deal to fight global warming.

"It's a more cautious and well thought-out executive order than the ones we've seen from Trump so far", said Michael Wara, an energy and environmental expert at Stanford Law School.

Furthermore, Trump's order rescinds Obama's executive order that encouraged agencies to prepare for changes in Earth's climate. During an appearance at the EPA where Trump signed the executive order, Vice President Mike Pence said, "The war on coal is over".

Declaring "the start of a new era" in energy production, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that he said would revive the coal industry and create jobs.

Trump did not address the 2015 Paris climate deal, a treaty signed by 194 countries aiming to lower carbon levels.

A new order from U.S. President Donald Trump lifting rules meant to combat climate change.

"Together, California and NY represent approximately 60 million people - almost one-in-five Americans - and 20 percent of the nation's gross domestic product", Cuomo and Brown said in their statement. "And battery storage is driving innovation and supporting a more reliable energy grid", Bill Corcoran, a director for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, said Tuesday.

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"It will make it virtually impossible" for the USA to meet its target said Bob Ward, a climate specialist at the London School of Economics. Regulations limiting coal mining near streams and on mountain tops, allowing cities to block the expansion of coal-export terminals and rail lines, and enacting first-time limits on carbon-dioxide emissions have led to massive job losses in coal country, the premature shuttering of vital coal-fired power plants, and to once-profitable companies filing for bankruptcy.

Environmental activists, including former Vice President Al Gore, denounced the plan. "Former Chariman Old Coyote of the Crow Tribe in my home state of Montana said it best, 'there are no jobs like coal jobs.' I hope to return those jobs to the Crow people". "Now is not the time to turn our back on the growing clean energy economy, and that's exactly what this executive order will do".

Environmental groups have already spoken out against the president's decision and organized an impromptu march outside the White House on Tuesday evening. "As Chairman of the Coal Caucus, I will continue to work with this Administration to promote a national energy plan that prioritizes research and efficiency to create new jobs and uses all of our energy resources in a clean and reliable fashion".

Germany, which plans to get most of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, said ambitious policies on climate change are in the United States' very own interests. "... We stand together with a majority of the American people in supporting bold actions to protect our communities from the dire consequences of climate change".

She said the industry's big concern is that the Obama rules would cause an even sharper drop in demand for coal as states and utilities moved to phase out remaining coal-fired power plants to meet the tougher emissions targets. More than government regulations, market forces - particularly cheap natural gas - are making coal mining increasingly unviable in the U.S. Renewable energy sources are also getting cheaper. There is no other mention of renewable energy in it.

Under U.S. regulations, authorities calculate the "social cost" of carbon emissions in order to compare it to the cost of complying with regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

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