Less than a week ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will roll back Obama-era climate change policies that were considered a “war on coal.” The President’s order, which is called the “Energy Independence Executive Order,” is laid out to identify all policies that serve as obstacles to energy production and remove or reconsider them.
The new Administration has shown that they have a different view on how climate policies should be addressed, and removing restrictions on coal plants and coal leasing is the first step. The new order also scraps federal guidance instructing agencies to factor climate change when creating new policies and will disband the Federal Team tasked with calculating the “social cost of carbon.”
What will this mean for the coal industry?
1) The EPA’s carbon dioxide emissions standards that effectively banned construction of new coal plants that didn’t include carbon capture & storage technology may be revoked, which means energy companies won’t be impeded by these rules when considering building a new facility.
2) The new Executive Order removes the ban on coal leases on Federal land. This could lead to more jobs for coal miners who are currently out of work due to the Obama-era policies.
3) The “social cost of carbon” task force caused quite a bit of regulatory overreach from the Obama administration. The disbandment of this team is a big step towards not allowing subjective and uncertain findings to affect policies being created.
4) Drillers will no longer be forced to detect and stop methane leakage in a certain manner. Since drillers were already financially incentivized to stop this leakage anyway, the rules were often seen as overkill by the industry.
The goal of the Trump Administration is to bring back jobs to the flailing coal mining industry and create a level playing field for coal workers and energy producers.
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