Published on October 10th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley0
Pruitt Picks Winners & Losers — Clean Power Plan Rescinded
October 10th, 2017 by Steve Hanley
You know how all the people who feed at the trough full of Koch Brothers money are always carrying on about how government shouldn’t pick winners and losers? That is just so much eyewash designed to bamboozle the weak minded. In reality, they insist government pick winners (them) and losers (everyone else). President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is the latest loser.
Scott Pruitt has made a career out of carrying water for Charles and David. Now he is the head of the EPA, a job for which he is spectacularly unqualified. On October 9, he rolled into coal country with the despicable Mitch McConnell at his side to announce he is tearing up the Clean Power Plan initiated by President Obama into little pieces and throwing it away.
“The war on coal is over,” Pruitt intoned. Later this week, he will officially sign the paperwork needed to kill the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to lower carbon emissions from coal fired generating plants by a third by the year 2030.
Pruitt gave his remarks at Whayne Supply, a company in the aptly named town of Hazard, Kentucky that sells coal mining supplies. “The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you: we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy.” (Unless it is Jeff Sessions’ War On Drugs or the Immigration Department’s War On Immigrants. Those wars are perfectly OK.)
Whayne Supply has laid off about 60% of its workers in recent years. While cheering the demise of the clean power plan as a way to stop the bleeding, McConnell conceded most of those lost jobs are never coming back.
“A lot of damage has been done,” said McConnell. “This doesn’t immediately bring everything back, but we think it stops further decline of coal fired plants in the United States and that means there will still be some market here.”
Pruitt has been a sworn enemy of the Clean Power Plan since he was attorney general of Oklahoma when he and the AG’s of two dozen other states sued to stop the Plan. They were initially rebuffed by the courts until the US Supreme Court put the litigation on hold until such time as it can take up the issue itself.
Still, the Clean Power Plan has put pressure on the coal industry and forced many operators of coal powered plants to rethink their position. Cheap natural gas and the increasing availability of renewables have also undercut the case for coal recently. In the final analysis, the power generation industry will go with the cheapest source of electricity — something coal used to be but decidedly is not today.
Not surprisingly, environmental groups were quick to call the decision wrong-headed. “Trump is not just ignoring the deadly cost of pollution, he’s ignoring the clean energy deployment that is rapidly creating jobs across the country,” said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.
Actually, Mr. Brune, what Trump is doing is picking winners and losers. The winners are his billionaire friends. The losers are everyone else in America and the world.
Source: The Guardian