Pour on the coal: Trump to reverse Obama on cleaner air | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pour on the coal: Trump to reverse Obama on cleaner air

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 7:34 AM

Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order reversing the federal government's course on attempting to reduce pollution from power plants. Jobs will be more important than cleaner air, in short.

Like a lot of things that Trump has set out to do, a change of course in the Environmental Protection Agency is easier said than done, as Vox explains here at some length.

The Arkansas business establishment and Republican politicians will cheer the news, of course. They like status quo: Burn coal, fill air with CO2. Stimulating alternative, cleaner sources of power is a jobs stimulus of a high order and, in the long run, not even more expensive.  But never mind that. We like doing things the way we've always done them.

UPDATE: From the Sierra Club:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that, by 2030, the Clean Power Plan would prevent 150,000 asthma attacks and up to 6,600 premature deaths annually, providing between $55 billion to $93 billion of benefits per year.

EPA also projects that in 2030 when the plan is fully implemented, electricity bills would be roughly 8 percent lower than they would been without the actions in state plans. That would save Americans about $8 on an average monthly residential electricity bill.

In response to today’s news, Glen Hooks, Director of the Sierra Club’s Arkansas Chapter, released the following statement:

“Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are doing what they do best - enriching their friends in oil and gas while rolling back protections on clean air and water for the rest of us. The roll back of the Clean Power Plan and other clean air and clean water protections will cost us our lives and our health, as well as money and savings for Arkansans who are sick of propping up Entergy’s aging and dirty coal plants with their hard-earned money.

“No matter Trump or Pruitt’s shortsighted actions, coal is on the decline in Arkansas. The economics do not favor these aging plants. We’ll keep moving ahead on a community level to organize and build a thriving clean energy economy in Arkansas and a responsible path forward with new, family-sustaining opportunities for communities historically dependent on coal.”

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