Beyond Coal

Earth Day 2019: Judge blocks Trump effort to mine coal on public lands

This is a big win, folks:

The decision, by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court of the District of Montana, does not reinstate President Barack Obama’s 2016 freeze on new coal mining leases on public lands. That policy was part of an effort by the Obama administration to curtail the burning of coal, a major producer of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

But the court ruling does say that the 2017 Trump administration policy, enacted by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to overturn Mr. Obama’s coal mining ban did not include adequate studies of the environmental effects of the mining, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, or NEPA, one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. “Federal Defendants’ decision not to initiate the NEPA process proves arbitrary and capricious,” Judge Morris wrote.

Bolding mine, because that is the most succinct definition of Trump's behavior I've seen. We don't know what he's going to do from day to day (arbitrary), but it almost always involves some little pissing contest he was drawn into (capricious). And apparently nothing gets under his skin more that previous policy moves by Obama:

Coal Ash Wednesday: The world's dirtiest business continues

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Running headlong into a global catastrophe:

Cheap, plentiful and the most polluting of fossil fuels, coal remains the single largest source of energy to generate electricity worldwide. This, even as renewables like solar and wind power are rapidly becoming more affordable. Soon, coal could make no financial sense for its backers. So, why is coal so hard to quit?

Because coal is a powerful incumbent. It’s there by the millions of tons under the ground. Powerful companies, backed by powerful governments, often in the form of subsidies, are in a rush to grow their markets before it is too late. Banks still profit from it. Big national electricity grids were designed for it. Coal plants can be a surefire way for politicians to deliver cheap electricity — and retain their own power. In some countries, it has been a glistening source of graft.

I really do hate to throw this on you right after that stunning climate report, but there's no help for it. If we don't understand the scope of the problem, we'll never be able to solve it. Our advocacy here in the United States has been, if not wildly successful, at least a sign of steady progress. Older and dirtier coal plants have been shuttered, and relatively few new ones are coming online. But unfortunately, that is not the case in many other parts of the world:

Tainted media alert: RealClearPolitics partners with coal industry

Fresh from BlueNC's inbox:

Washington, D.C. – RealClearPolitics announced today its "Powering the Road to 2016" presidential candidate forums in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), the discussions will provide presidential candidates an opportunity to outline their energy policies and priorities to primary voters across the country.

The "Powering the Road to 2016" policy discussions, previously held in Denver, Co are turning toward pivotal primary states at a time when important energy issues are being debated on the campaign trail. The events will allow candidates to make remarks to voters and take questions. The events will include 200-250 state and local elected officials, politically engaged voters, media, local policy makers, business leaders, decision makers and academia.

While their bent will come as no surprise to many reading this, I have seen an increase in (Progressive) folks who have linked to some of their polls or articles, especially on Facebook. Please don't do that here. We welcome many points of view, but "clean coal" is such a laughable contradiction it might just break the Internet. You don't want to be responsible for that, do you? I didn't think so.

Weekend mystery-solving: Why is coal baron coming to Raleigh?

And what kind of business is he going to conduct?

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship wants a judge to let him take a business trip to North Carolina. Blankenship made the request Friday in federal court in Beckley.

Blankenship's request says he wants to take a three-day trip to the Raleigh area sometime between Aug. 17 and Sept. 18.

I do love a challenge...

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