WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 13 – “The ‘climate changers’ came out in full force when the EPA announced earlier this week that it was ending the Obama-era war on coal by scrapping Mr. Obama’s Clean Power Plan. But, America has the world’s largest reserves of coal – an asset that should not be dismissed out of hand for a variety of reasons, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
Weber says that extreme restrictions on the use of coal to generate electricity “acted like a national energy tax. They minimized the positive impact of our lowest cost and most affordable electricity, much to the dismay of senior citizens, in particular. As it is, too many of them struggle to heat their homes in winter and cool them in summer. And then there is the effect these regulations have had on our economy, including the loss of countless jobs throughout America’s coal mining regions, and the devastating impact they have had on whole communities.”
As for the potential threat to the environment, the AMAC chief says carbon capture technology may hold the key to the ability of coal-fired plants to burn the fuel in a clean and efficient manner. The cost of implementing the technology has so far been prohibitive but the Associated Press reported recently that projects already underway are aiming to reduce the cost from $100 per metric ton to $40.
Weber says that if the purpose of the Obama Administration’s war on coal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it was wide of the mark. According to Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, told Scientific American that “marginal cuts by the U.S. don’t have a long-term overall big effect on the climate. What has to happen to have a big effect on the global climate is for all the big emitters to get together and decide that they are all going to cut some substantial fraction [of emissions].”
Reducing emissions from “just coal-powered electricity, and in just one country” won’t do the trick,” Oppenheimer said.
Jim Matheson, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, says that the Trump Administration’s decision to overturn the Clean Power Plan rule will allow providers to offer affordable electricity to its customers.
“President Trump has kept another campaign promise-one that will have a positive impact throughout the country, particularly on the lives of our senior citizens,” says Weber.