The Washington Post reports that President Donald Trump will “obliterate” Barack Obama’s progress on climate change and environmental cleanup, with a new Executive Order today, in a detailed and illustrated (with photos) story by Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, link.
Energy self-sufficiency (“autarky”, or “economic nationalism” indeed) may be admirable enough (remember the rhetoric during Jimmy Carter’s years and the post-Arab Embargo gas shortages of the 70s). Free market incentives will lead the power industry to favor natural gas over coal anyway. It looks like the pipelines will get built as part of Bannon's infrastructure.
Natural gas is cleaner and safer in most circumstances. It can be made very clean. And we have both the “Pickens Plan” of a few years ago, and the Taylor Wilson Plan (supported by Peter Thiel) which Trump ought to be paying attention to (just invite Thiel and Wilson to the White House).
Increased coal mining probably means more mountaintop removal, especially in the southern West Virginia area within 80 miles of Beckley, and over into eastern Kentucky and far SW Virginia, toward Cumberland Gap. It probably doesn’t save many miners’ jobs.
But walking away from international climate change debate sounds, well, immoral. One precept of conservatism is that future generations matter. Who is responsible for the refugees from low-lying poor countries thirty years from now? Who is responsible for the super storms that may occur? How about sudden methane release from northern permafrost?
I may be gone when a lot of this happens, but I may know about it anyway. Maybe, like Celebrity Apprentice’s Schwarzenegger. “I’ll be back” after all. The very idea that reincarnation may happen (there’s more evidence about this than we realize) changes the self-interest.
The EO has been issued. Here is Vox's detailed rundown by Bard Plummer. Note the link to the interview with Harvard's Jody Freeman.
Here is the text of the Executive Order at the White House site.