Gutting Climate Rules Will Slow Job Growth

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Today the Trump administration released its executive order to effectively gut the Clean Power Plan, a key piece of U.S. climate policy aimed at reducing carbon pollution. This is in spite of the fact that the majority of Americans — including most Republicans — want the E.P.A.’s power to be maintained or strengthened. Slashing the Clean Power Plan is part of Trump’s ‘contract’ with voters to lift restrictions on America’s energy reserves in an effort to create jobs. Trump is supposed to be the jobs president after all. The problem? We know how to create jobs, and relying on fossil fuels is not the way."

"Trump talks a lot about bringing jobs back to coal country, and, it’s true, coal country has been struggling. He carried these regions handily with his promises to reinvigorate towns across Appalachia by resurrecting the coal jobs. But this is a fairytale. Trump would have you believe that these jobs disappeared due to federal policy, and thus slashing programs like the Clean Power Plan would reinvigorate the region. But, in truth, coal jobs declined because of competition in the marketplace. But, to the workers, it doesn’t matter why their jobs disappeared — those well-paying jobs are gone and far too many workers were left high and dry. These workers deserve a fair deal, but repealing the Clean Power Plan won’t help. Given current prices for other fuels, coal just doesn’t make much economic sense. Others get that economic reality. It’s time to come to terms with that reality and start promoting energy policies for a 21st-century economy."

Mark Paul is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Read the full article here