President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign to jump-start the coal industry is predicated on hollowing out the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to members of his transition team.
The EPA will be dialed back to focus solely on pollutants posing harm to public health and will cease its present extracurricular focus on agenda-centered pollutants supposedly causing man-made global warming, Kathleen Hartnett-White, a member of Trump’s transition team, told reporters Monday.
“He’s very much for clean air and clean water,” she said. “But the better home for considering this discussion about carbon dioxide and climate is in the Department of Energy.”
The Obama administration has “used the legal rubrics of the Clean Air Act really to pursue a low-carbon energy policy and really not to further environmental protection,” she said.
The climate concerns “are really a discussion about energy, not really a discussion about environmental protection,” she said.
Regulating carbon emissions “is the killer for coal,” Hartnett-White said, adding that, scratching the two primary regulations targeting the coal industry will help place coal on a better footing.
“The two direct regulations for new sources and for existing sources are both direct regulations, and are also the ones that I think have constitutional problems,” she said.
Coal stocks boomed after the news of Trump’s victory.
CONSOL Energy and Cloud Peak Energy “were both trading up sharply in Wednesday’s premarket session,” 24/7 Wall St. reported shortly after Election Day. Peak’s stocks increased more than 12 percent above its 52-week range. CONSOL Energy stocks were up 8 percent.
Trump made revitalizing coal country a central part of his presidential campaign. The pro-coal message likely helped him gain much-needed votes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both of which are considered battleground states for Republicans.
Clinton meanwhile faced scathing criticisms over comments she made in March that her policies would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Clinton also said “we don’t want to forget those people,” referring to her $30 billion spending plan to stimulate the economies of coal communities hard hit by her policies.
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