Did Trump help the economy by eliminating rules on the coal industry? Or is this a catastrophic mistake? Please vote.
This week, Donald Trump repealed the Obama Clean Power Plan. It’s a huge gift to the coal industry, which donated heavily to the Trump campaign. The new executive order rolls back emissions limits on coal-fired power stations and reopens federal lands to coal mining.
The move is unlikely to bring back large numbers of mining jobs. Coal has been in a freefall because of cheaper natural gas and alternative energy sources. Also, the industry is heavily automated. But it fulfills Trump pledges to repeal all things Obama and cut regulations, both of which appeal to his white working-class base.
As Vice News reported: “Tuesday’s executive orders are just some of Trump’s pro-coal policies. In February, Trump signed a bill repealing the EPA’s Stream Protection Rule, which would have stopped coal companies from dumping strip mining detritus in waterways. He is expected to name coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, a former aide to climate-science denier Sen. James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, as the second-ranking official at EPA. And Trump’s pledge to conduct a review of other Obama-era regulations of coal products such as smog and coal ash may result in more favors to the industry.”
The costs will be substantial. Reversing American leadership on climate change puts the planet on course for a devastating rise in temperatures. The more carbon that can be kept in the ground, the better. But what do you think?
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This Week’s Links:
• How Trump could still undermine Obamacare | The New Yorker
• The job statistics Trump should worry about | Justin Fox
• How to build on Obamacare | Paul Krugman
• With Brexit, Britain pulls the trigger — on itself | Michael Hiltzik
• Job polarization, 2016 update | Josh Lehner
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Maybe trade will live
Thanks to Russiagate scandal
Orange is the new orange