Thanks to Trump, we're back to dumping coal waste into streams

MB at Dailykos has the roundup of idiotic Trumpiness:

The regulation he boasted about stopping is the Stream Protection Rule drawn up by the Office of Surface Mining. He signed a bill on Feb. 16 eliminating it, noting that getting rid of this rule that was approved in December would save thousands of mining jobs. The rule was meant to keep coal-mining waste out of streams, but it was considerably watered down thanks to industry lobbying. The rule did not ban mountain top removal that is used to get at coal seams, with the overburden of soil and rock dumped in stream valleys.

Even though the rule was far weaker than it needed to be, now instead of making companies stop dumping their coal waste in those valleys, the consequences will continue to fall as it has for more than a century on the people who live where the companies befoul the water and land with their leavings.

Something a lot of folks fail to comprehend when this subject comes up: Mountain streams make up the headwaters of rivers that run for hundreds of miles, through countless small towns and even larger cities, and these rivers cross state lines on their way to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico here on the Eastern half of the US. As far as surface pollution goes, nothing else competes with the sheer distance and volume of water polluted. And thanks to proposed budget cuts to the EPA, tracking that pollution is now going to be much more difficult:

While Trump made one brief mention of clean air and water, he didn’t say squat about his plan to cripple the Environmental Protection Agency by whacking $2 billion from its $8 billion budget. Nor did he say anything about his expected reversal of President Obama’s three-year moratorium on coal leasing of public lands. Nor his plan to get rid of Obama’s Clean Power Plan that mandates emissions cuts in electricity-generating plants to protect people’s health and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we’re pumping into the atmosphere to our detriment.

While Trump and the fossil fuel industry lament what they say will be the CPP’s impact on jobs, particularly in coal, the EPA estimates annual benefits from the plan would reach $93 billion by 2030. Various studies estimate that the gain in jobs because of the plan could be as high as 273,000 by that same year. And then there are the health and safety benefits, which the EPA has calculated at 150,000 fewer asthma attacks and 6,600 fewer premature deaths annually because of the CPP.

We're in trouble, folks.

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