Gita Subramony, ERS, for Zondits
This week, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order instructing the EPA to reverse the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Trump administration believes that the CPP, which aimed to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, negatively impacts the growth of the coal industry.
However, nullifying the CPP will likely not be a factor in bringing back coal jobs. The decline of the coal industry was certainly not caused by the CPP but more a result of automation and the existence of cheaper energy sources. The administration would better serve the American economy and American ratepayers by encouraging the already surging growth of the clean energy industry. We are already behind China in this sphere, so it would be detrimental to fall even further behind.
The administration is also set on eliminating fuel standards for vehicles, methane emissions standards, and appliance standards. These actions, combined with the reversal on the CPP, will make it even harder for the U.S. to reach their goal set at the Paris Agreement to reduce the 2005 carbon emission levels by 26%–28% by 2025.