President Trump promised to end the war on coal.
The Executive Order he signed recently is indication he intends to keep that promise. In his order, the President directed an immediate review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
From when the Obama Administration first announced their plan, I believed the CPP was a job-killing federal overreach. The CPP, which would have imposed unreasonable carbon emissions regulations on fossil fuel powered plants, has not been implemented because the Supreme Court, in an unusual move, ordered a stay while they examined its legality.
The Trump Administration agreed, and made the review of this order a priority. I believe their review will result in an end to the illegal CPP.
The order also dissolves the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases that was created to incorporate the “social cost of carbon” when issuing new regulations.
In testimony written for an Energy Subcommittee hearing I participated in recently, Dr. Ben Zycher explained his view on why the working group’s obsession with carbon was misguided.
Dr. Zycher stated: “It is important to note as an aside that carbon dioxide—the most important anthropogenic GHG—is not ‘carbon.’ ‘Carbon’ is soot, or in the language of environmental policy, particulates; carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless GHG (greenhouse gas), a certain minimum atmospheric concentration of which is necessary for life itself … By far the most important GHG in terms of the radiative properties of the troposphere is water vapor…”
Interestingly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, “water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.”
In other words, carbon dioxide contributes to retention of heat that leads to changes in the atmosphere; however, water vapor likewise contributes to retention and warming.
Water vapor was not targeted for new regulation, as common sense would dictate.
So was carbon merely targeted for regulation as part of the now defunct war on coal? President Trump is following through on his promise to bring relief from strangling regulations. The reaction to Trump’s actions from the left, particularly those in the Obama Administration, was swift. Their reaction was also revealing.
Politico reported that Brian Deese, who served as Obama’s energy adviser, hopes that coal will not come back. He told Politico that “stock prices for coal-related companies are down, underperforming the market by several percentage points.”
Furthermore, according to Politico, he argued that is partly because of the Obama team’s efforts, “not only on the regulatory side, but also with respect to research and commercialization, tax incentives and otherwise.” He’s essentially admitting the Obama Administration had a war on coal.
Although coal may not reach its peak again, coal is not dead. Cutting through the regulatory measures that were aimed at stifling coal will unleash the coal industry to compete fairly and help bring back the industry.
Black Lung Clinic Funds
Mining coal is an important profession, and those who have mined coal have provided Americans with electricity, heat, and power.
Many coal miners are proud of their contributions, like the coal miner featured in a video I saw at the Stone Mountain Health Services Black Lung Clinic in St. Charles. Jerry Moore from Jonesville was proud to have spent his life digging coal, but he wished in return, that he had the support he needed to have his expenses covered as he fought the lung disorder, which would take his life.
I believe miners like Mr. Moore deserve the benefits they were promised and deserve to be taken care of.
Many miners turn to clinics like Stone Mountain to provide the services they need. I recently led a letter to President Trump, along with other Members of Congress, requesting an increase of $3.3 million to black lung health clinics, to total $10 million.
The increasing demand for the health clinic services in the last few years has not been matched with an increase in funding. In the letter, we explained that some clinics are so underfunded that they are operating with obsolete and inefficient diagnostic equipment, which is needlessly increasing miners’ radiation dose when they receive a chest X-ray.
In rural communities, where many of these clinics are located, depressed economies have made it difficult to find funding, and I believe the federal government should help.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.