"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Trump Tackles the Environment

Nice water supply you've got there. . . .:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, keeping a campaign promise to support the coal industry and calling into question U.S. support for an international deal to fight global warming.

Flanked by coal miners and coal company executives, Trump proclaimed his "Energy Independence" executive order at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The move drew swift backlash from a coalition of 23 states and local governments, as well as environmental groups, which called the decree a threat to public health and vowed to fight it in court.

The order's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants - a key factor in the United States' ability to meet its commitments under a climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015.

Trump's decree also reverses a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, undoes rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas production and reduces the weight of climate change and carbon emissions in policy and infrastructure permitting decisions. Carbon dioxide and methane are two of the main greenhouse gases blamed by scientists for heating the earth.

"I am taking historic steps to lift restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations," Trump said at the EPA.

Energy independence? If we wanted energy independence, we'd be throwing major resources into developing wind and solar power. But Trump has just as much imagination as his pals in the oil and coal industries.

Oh, and about those "job-killing regulations":

Throughout the presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump courted miners and promised improved job prospects. He has continued to tout the future of the coal industry as president—but a top coal executive has slammed the brakes on the idea that mining jobs could come back.

Robert Murray, founder and chief executive of Murray Energy—the nation's largest privately held coal mining company—told the Guardian that many mining jobs were lost to technology and competition, rather than regulation.

Trump can't really change that, Murray said.

"I suggested that he temper his expectations. Those are my exact words," Murray said. "He can’t bring them back."

And if you're not familiar with Murray, there's this little tidbit:

"I would not say it's a good time in the coal industry. It's a better time," Murray told the Guardian. "Politically it's much better. Barack Obama and his Democrat supporters were the greatest destroyers the United States of America has ever seen in its history. He destroyed reliable electric power in America, he destroyed low-cost electric power in America, and he attempted to totally destroy the United States coal industry."

If that's not enough to clue you into his attitude, check out this article in the New York Times. Bottom line: if you've lost Robert Murray, there's no hope.

As for the consequences of Trump's attack on the environment -- he's just taking us back to the good old days:

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