- - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

We’ve come to expect dishonesty from the left when it comes to news and analysis, especially when it involves climate change and the coal business.

Energy is a national security issue and learning how to best achieve energy security while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions should be the goal. It is time to set the record straight on clean coal technology.

It is no secret that the Obama administration wanted to shut down the coal industry. Hillary Clinton famously swore to ‘put a lot of coal miners out of business’, hence she lost West Virginia, big league.

What the liberals will not tell you is that their strategy of destroying the coal industry, regardless of the consequences, actually led to the possibility of higher CO2 emissions worldwide. The simple fact is, renewables are not a panacea; much of the world relies on coal.

The secret for reducing many country’s carbon footprints is to make coal plants significantly more efficient. The new clean coal strategy from the Trump administration acknowledges this point and does something about it.

Much to the ire of liberals, President Trump is rolling back the unconstitutional Obama-era Clean Power Plan. In late August, the EPA unveiled the Affordable Clean Energy Rule. Reactions were predictable: the leftist media bawled its eyes out over the fate of the planet, in their mind doomed to extinction because of a few coal mines in the Midwest.

“At the core [of the rule change] is ceding power to the states and making coal-fired power plants more efficient. Don’t forget that over two dozen U.S. states were involved in a lawsuit to overturn Obama’s CPP as a constitutional violation of the 10th Amendment and states’ rights.

“Allowing coal units to run harder and longer, a key goal will be to pursue the installation of new technologies and equipment to upgrade efficiency, importantly without having to go through the arduous permitting process that’s called ‘New Source Review,’” reported Forbes.

But it’s important to get the story straight. The rule was prompted by the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the CPP. If liberals wish to see coal dead, they now have the prerogative to do so in their states (such as California and its stricter environmental rules), but they shouldn’t expect the rest of country to fall in line.

“The era of top-down, one-size-fits-all federal mandates is over,” said acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler. On a recent conference call, Wheeler highlighted the success of American entrepreneurship and advanced technology has had in combating carbon emissions.

From 2005 to 2017, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 14 percent, he said, in contrast to global energy-related emissions, which increased by more than 20 percent.

And this leads us to the point: “Utilities want to be most efficient because that’s how they make more money. Again, the support of constantly evolving technology is the clear solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and higher efficiency is the cornerstone of that goal. This explains why state energy plans cite ‘efficiency’ as the primary strategy to reduce emissions, before more wind, before more solar,” writes Forbes.

It is a closely-guarded secret on the left that ‘efficiency’ was the backbone of the Obama energy plan. But, the leftists used a heavy-handed top-down approach to getting there, which would have increased costs and increased burdensome regulation nationwide.

And, don’t believe the mainstream media claiming thousands will die due to this new rule: ACE does not exist in a policy vacuum but follows hot on the heels of multiple initiatives meant to improve the efficiency and reduce the emissions of coal plants everywhere. In February, Democrats and Republicans alike joined hands to pass a historic tax credit for carbon sequestration technology (CCS/CCU).

Widely seen as the keystone to most CO2 reduction efforts by scientists and policymakers alike, CCS/CCU technology received a shot in the arm with these tax credits, which will help with their development at scale.

The United States can become the clean-coal leader, opening up a myriad of avenues to increase American manufacturing and technological leadership. This will help the Trump administration jolt economic growth, which in turn will lead to more tax revenue, and a chance to pay down our national debt in Trump’s second term, a serious national security issue in itself.

The rest of the developing world will benefit as well. The mainstream media won’t tell you but most increases in carbon emissions are coming from overseas. American technology can help with this problem over time.

Next, the Trump administration is spearheading a global clean coal alliance, meant to fund the development of clean coal throughout the world, with special emphasis on the developing world where most of future coal demand is expected.

Seen against this backdrop, the fear mongering and hand-wringing of the left is not just misplaced, it’s downright hypocritical.


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