Trump’s Sellout of Our Health to Big Coal is Truly Scandalous

Trump’s Sellout of Our Health to Big Coal is Truly Scandalous

Trump has put forward an energy plan to the remade Environment Destruction Agency that will not only will not slow climate change, but will condemn us to decades more of smog, acid rain, and mercury poisoning. The scandalous part, is that it may only save coal companies a paltry $1.30 per American per year, in exchange for our health and vastly greater medical and environmental destructive costs. Who ya gonna call? Trumpbusters: your NGO environmental groups, and your Democratic candidates.

While California and other Blue States have been getting rid of coal plants, some Red states haven’t, especially ones that are run by coal companies and coal jobs. When states switch, they find that natural gas is cheaper than coal, and wind and energy are also relatively cheap. So Red state consumers continue all of the health problems, for relatively little cost savings. It’s difficult to support Trump and his toady, captive Republicans. 29 states sued to halt the new coal restrictions proposed by Obama at the end of his administration, and the Supreme Court halted enforcement until their case could be heard.

The EPA’s analysis shows that this will only cut electricity prices by a tiny 0.2% to 0.5% around 2025. Articles on this blog, power company websites, and environmental group websites have advice on power savings that can immediately save you far more than that.

Now for the details. The Trump plan would essentially wipe out Obama’s Clean Power Plan reductions in emissions by 2030 over 2005 of 19% for Carbon Dioxide, 24% for Sulfur Dioxide, 22% for Nitrogen Dioxide, and 16-17% for Mercury.

Our commitment to the all-nation Paris Climate Agreement was to reduce Carbon Dioxide by 26-28% by 2025, from our peak in 2005. In 2015, we had already reduced our usage from 2005 by 11.5%. Last year, however, power use in the energy sector only dropped by 0.5%.

In 2016, the power sector accounted for 28.4% of greenhouse gas emissions, and the transport sector, 28.5%.

To emphasize the purely political nature of this, Trump is going to announce the plan today in the coal country in West Virginia. He also campaigned on coal in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Carbon Dioxide is the leading greenhouse gas which melts glaciers and increases sea level, raises air and ocean temperatures, causes heat waves and dryness, which lead to forest fires, and the ocean heat kills coral reefs, carbon dioxide acidifies the ocean to destroy the bottom of the food chain, and stops oceanic carbon sequestration, etc.

The smoke from fires and increased tropical storm strength has ruined my last summer and this summer’s vacations.

I write this as I am watching high winds causing waves from Hurricane Lane exploding on the lava rock flows of millennia past. It is the second Hurricane to affect Hawaii this summer. Other members of my family had their trip to Yosemite cancelled as the park burned, filled with smoke, and was closed. My Southwest tour was partly cancelled due to high temperatures in Vegas and Page, Arizona.

Trump properties in NY City, Las Vegas, and Florida had to be affected by summer heat. But all Trump cares about now is winning coal states and coal money for his reelection.

Sulfur Dioxide leads to sulphuric acid rain. This kills forests and destroys the outer surfaces of buildings.

Nitrogen Dioxide leads to lung choking smog, including eye-burning ozone.  The EPA report records the standard 1400 premature deaths a year from present smog, but the news does not report the asthma suffering, the non-fatal suffering, the costs of medical treatment, or the effects of missing school and work.   I covered these in a series of articles under the topic “Air Quality”.

Mercury contamination destroys brain functioning.

For a mere $1.30 per American per year? Trump doesn’t even know what a dollar looks like. He still thinks you need a picture ID to buy food in a grocery store. Trump has at least a dozen friends who each make at least $400 million a year. To influence Trump’s foreign policy, you have to at least give Trump or Kush a $500 million dollar loan. What a sellout of America’s health and environment.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2018 Midterm Election, Air Quality, American Lung Association, California Power Mixes, California Smog, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Coal, Coastal Flooding, Donald Trump, Electric Power, EPA, Fossil Fuel Energy, Green Rate Plans, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mayor's Climate Action Plan, Natural Gas, Ocean Acidification, Paris Climate Accord, Paris Climate Agreement, Politics, Sea Level Rise, Solar Energy, Trump on Climate Change, Wind Energy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply