Trump wants ‘really clean coal’

Donald Trump has issued another executive order, this time to roll back Obama environmental regulations and climate change initiatives.

Notably Vice President Mike Pence said they were ending “the war on coal” and Trump promoted ‘clean coal, really clean coal”. He says this will bring back mining jobs, but there is no guarantee it will swing energy use back to coal. The surge in fracking enabled natural gas has reduced the demand for coal anyway.

Time:  President Trump Will Sign Executive Order Rolling Back Obama-Era Environmental Regulations

President Donald Trump will sign a sweeping executive order Tuesday intended to shift the direction of U.S. environmental policy and begin the process of undoing some of the most prominent Obama-era environmental regulations, according to a senior White House official.

The executive order, billed as a measure to promote “energy independence” and create jobs, will target a slew of environmental measures aimed at combating climate change including the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s global warming efforts. Some directives take effect immediately, like the end to a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on federal land, while others, like the review of the Clean Power Plan, require a rule making process that could take years to complete.

President Donald Trump will sign a sweeping executive order Tuesday intended to shift the direction of U.S. environmental policy and begin the process of undoing some of the most prominent Obama-era environmental regulations, according to a senior White House official.

The executive order, billed as a measure to promote “energy independence” and create jobs, will target a slew of environmental measures aimed at combating climate change including the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s global warming efforts. Some directives take effect immediately, like the end to a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on federal land, while others, like the review of the Clean Power Plan, require a rule making process that could take years to complete.

“For too long, we have accepted a narrative that if you’re pro-growth, pro-jobs, you’re anti-environment,” Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in an ABC News interview previewing the order on Sunday. “The executive order will address the past administration’s effort to kill jobs throughout the country through the Clean Power Plan.”

The are worried about “killing jobs” through environmental protections but don’t seem to care about killing people through pollution.

I guess there will be resistance to these changes.

Video of Trump here.

“We’ve already eliminated a devastating anti-coal regulation, but that was just the beginning.

Today I’m taking bold action to follow through on that promise.

My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We’re going to have clean coal, really clean coal.

Maybe Trump can use the really clean coal to manufacture all the really safe bombs he wants to invest in.

How to make climate change go away

Donald Trump and his administration has a novel way of making something they don’t like go away – stop funding any research on it.

They propose to slash funding of climate research. That will either make everyone forget there could be any problems, or it will put the US way out of the world scientific loop.

VOX: Trump’s budget would hammer climate programs at EPA, NASA, NOAA, and Energy

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 can be read as a political document, a statement of his administration’s policy priorities. Many of these proposed cuts won’t get passed by Congress, but it’s a look at what Trump values.

And what’s clear is that Trump wants the US government to pull back sharply from any effort to stop global warming, adapt to its impacts — or even study it further. Under the proposal, a wide variety of Obama-era climate programs across multiple agencies would be scaled back or slashed entirely.

That includes eliminating much of the work the Environmental Protection Agency is doing to research climate impacts and limit emissions. It includes scaling back the Department of Energy’s efforts to accelerate low-carbon energy. It includes cuts to NASA’s Earth-monitoring programs. The proposal would also eliminate the Sea Grant program at NOAA, which helps coastal communities adapt to a warmer world. The document dubs this a “lower priority.”

This anti-science approach will please some people, but it is likely to isolate the US even more from the rest of the world, which is moving away from high energy production and products.

1) Many of the EPA’s climate programs would be terminated. Trump is proposing a sweeping 31 percent cut to the EPA’s budget — from $8.2 billion down to $5.7 billion — shrinking funding to the lowest levels in 40 years. That includes zeroing out funding for many of the agency’s climate programs. Currently, the EPA is the main US entity working to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So there’s no more money for work on the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation to control CO2 emissions from power plants, which Trump aims to repeal.

2) The Department of Energy’s R&D programs would be reoriented and scaled back. Trump is proposing a 5.6 percent cut to the Department of Energy. And, to do that, he would impose a steep 17.9 percent cut — roughly $2 billion — from core energy/science programs intended to accelerate the transition to new (and cleaner) energy technologies.

Clean energy and emissions controls and limiting pollution will be good for the world regardless of the effect on the climate and any effect changing climate may have on the world, but the US seems to prefer to go back to greater disregard for the environment and bugger the consequences.

3) State Department funding for climate change is axed. As part of the Paris climate deal in 2015, the United States pledged not just to cut emissions, but also to offer $3 billion in aid to poorer countries to help them adapt to climate change and build clean energy. So far, the Obama administration has chipped in $1 billion. This was seen as crucial for bringing these countries into the deal.

Trump would end all that. In his budget, he’s proposing to “cease payments to the United Nations’ (UN) climate change programs by eliminating U.S. funding related to the Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds.”

4) NASA’s Earth-monitoring programs are cut. One reason we know so much about climate change is that NASA has deployed a fleet of Earth-observing satellites since 1999. They collect data on everything from temperature and precipitation to underground aquifers and ocean currents to wildfires, soil moisture, and storms.

But NASA’s Earth Science Division has come under attack from conservatives who don’t appreciate the agency’s forays into climate science and think NASA should focus on space exploration instead. As such, Trump’s budget would trim the agency’s Earth science budget to $1.8 billion — a $102 million cut. That’d include terminating “four Earth science missions (PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR Earth-viewing instruments, and CLARREO Pathfinder) and reduc[ing] funding for Earth science research grants.”

The proposal derides these programs as too “Earth-centric.”

The aim seems to be to make America great again – on a different planet to the rest of the world.

5) A key NOAA program to help coastal communities adapt to climate change would be gone. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant program provides grants for research efforts intended to help coastal communities deal with a wide variety of challenges. Lately, that has included climate change

The rest of the world will carry ion doing what research it can. Perhaps Trump will order wiretaps of scientists in other countries to keep in touch with what research is finding out.

Alternately he could just turn his back on science and rely on Breitbart for all his guidance.

There will be a few scientists and bureaucrats out of jobs (3,200 from EPA alone) but they could be retrained into digging and shovelling coal.

If Congress plays ball with White House budget proposals it will mean massive changes, which will end up being a massive experiment. If they get it wrong it could be an expensive mistake.

EPA chief contradicts EPA science

The recently appointed (by Donald trump) chief of the US Environmental Protection Agency disagrees with majority scientific consensus on CO2 links to warming.

RNZ: US environment chief doubts CO2’s role in global warming

The EPA’s website notes that carbon dioxide is the “primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change”.

Data released in January by NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the planet’s rising temperature has been “driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions in the atmosphere”.

The two US agencies added that the earth’s 2016 temperatures were the warmest ever.

But:

Scott Pruitt told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was “very challenging” and there was “tremendous disagreement” about the issue.

Mr Pruitt, chief of the EPA, instead insisted that officials needed “to continue the debate” on the issue.

His remarks contradict his own agency’s findings on greenhouse gas emissions.

Isn’t that why he was chosen by Trump to head the EPA?

Mr Pruitt, 48, who was sworn in last month, is considered one of President Donald Trump’s most controversial appointments due to his ties to the fossil fuel industry.

The former Oklahoma attorney general also spent years legally challenging the reach of the organisation he now heads.

During his confirmation hearing in January, Mr Pruitt did say he believed humans had contributed to climate change, though he was not sure how much.

Perhaps he should learn something about what his agency does.

Mr Trump tweeted in 2012 that global warming was a “hoax”, but he said last November “I think there is some connectivity” between humans and the changing climate.

Trump is well known for promoting hoaxes and conspiracies. He is also well known for changing his tune.