March 28, 2017 (San Diego) President Donald Trump signed executive orders unwinding Obama era clean Coal regulations. The president promised these measures would be good for coal country and mining jobs. However, there are doubts this will be the case.
There are several reasons. The first is the use of fracking, which means natural gas is much cheaper. Tje second is that many of these mines are automated. Meaning they need a lot less workers than they used to.
According to New York Times Reporting
The new order would mean that older coal plants that had been marked for closing would probably stay open for a few years longer, extending the demand for coal, said Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming.
But even so, “the mines that are staying open are using more mechanization,” he said.
“They’re not hiring people,” he continued.
“So even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs,” he added.
So this order signals out quiet withdrawal from climate goals in the Paris agreement. It is bad news for the environment since it will come with further weakening of environmental laws. However, all this is expected to end up in tje courts and potentially, the Supreme Court.
Former Vice President Al Gore released this statement.
Statement by Former Vice President Al Gore on Today’s Executive Order to Roll Back Environmental Protections
March 28, 2017
“Today’s executive order, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rolling back environmental protections and policies including the Clean Power Plan, is a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come. It is essential, not only to our planet, but also to our economic future, that the United States continues to serve as a global leader in solving the climate crisis by transitioning to clean energy, a transition that will continue to gain speed due to the increasing competiveness of solar and wind.
No matter how discouraging this executive order may be, we must, we can, and we will solve the climate crisis. No one man or group can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet.”