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Off the Editor’s Desk – 11-1-2017

 We are still burning coal!

“Let’s face it. Most Americans today are simply fed up with government at all levels. They will not—and they should not—continue to tolerate the gap between promise and performance in government.” Richard Nixon’s “The State of the Union” address to Congress on January 22, 1971.

President Trump has exited the Paris climate accords, and the EPA is following through with ending the new and existing coal power plant regulations under the Obama Clean Power Plan. But if Congress does not take action, the next president, in four or eight years can reinstate the rules.

Since Obama began his war on coal in 2009, coal as a percentage of the electrical power has declined from 49 percent to 31 percent in 2016. This information is from the Energy Information Agency (EIA). Natural gas now surpasses coal.

With data from 2016, 374 coal-burning power plants in 37 states were closing due to the EPA regulations. The states hardest hit by these plant closing were: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, which proved critical to President Trump’s electoral college victory last year.

Robert Romano, Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government put it this way, “The Trump EPA has the right idea, but to be a long-term solution, Congress needs to do its part and revise the Clean Air Act to prevent this from ever happening again. Not that Congress ever allowed the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon. That was the Supreme Court in 2007, with the infamous Massachusetts v. EPA decision. Still, it is Congress that can fix it, by explicitly excluding the possibility of regulating carbon emissions as pollutants.

“Otherwise, the next time the Democrats win the White House, a future president can just come back and reinstate the new and existing rules. And then we can go back and forth, rescinding the rules, reinstating the rules.

“Why would anybody invest in a new coal power plant under those circumstances?

“The alternative is for dueling Democrat and Republican administrations to play whack-a-mole, adding and taking away job-killing regulations like the Clean Power Plan, wrecking the economy in the process. A stable rule of law that favors economic growth and job creation can fix that, but requires a bipartisan growth consensus that sadly is nowhere to be found.”

Thanks for reading! ~ Carlton