I’ll fight for “clean, beautiful coal”
If you believed that Trump promise, I have a few more about the coronavirus
In 2016, Trump promised to put coal miners back to work but it did not happen as coal employment dropped during his administration. As Quartz summarized yesterday:
The number of people employed by the coal mining industry has fallen 15% since Trump took office in January 2017.
This happened despite the administration’s efforts to gut (or significantly reduce the powers of) the EPA. On that subject, here’s an important story that was lost among bigger stories this week:
Court strikes fatal blow to Trump carbon rule
A federal appeals court this morning struck down the Trump administration's Clean Power Plan replacement.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit directed EPA to start over with a new regulatory approach after finding that the agency's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule failed to provide adequate environmental and public health protections.
The decision is a resounding blow to EPA's efforts to more strictly limit its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, a key goal of the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda.
The court vacated and remanded the ACE rule, as well as EPA's extended compliance timeline for states. The court ruled that EPA relied on a "fundamental misconstruction" of the Clean Air Act.
Despite the lack of coverage, that was an important court decision in that it made it much easier for the Biden administration to change the EPA's direction on greenhouse gas emissions.
But did Trump even care about coal or were these efforts just part of his re-election strategy?
It would certainly appear to be the latter. Yesterday, another story about an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case notes that the Trump administration made no effort to save the industry:
We knew from the start that Donald Trump's promise to bring coal back was a huge long shot, but when asked to weigh in on a key issue the industry hoped would help access export markets, the Trump's Justice Department didn't even try: https://t.co/2OGyRXkeRw— ⚡Taylor Kuykendall (@taykuy) January 22, 2021
As the linked article tells us:
Legal observers were bewildered by the lack of comment. Although arguments the two coal states presented ran counter to the thinking of some conservative lawyers about states' rights, former President Donald Trump presented himself as a pro-coal president, and the fight was aligned with his work to address policies deemed anti-fossil fuel.
On the other hand: why would Trump care what happened to coal once the election was over?