Coal is main beneficiary of Trump deregulation

By Peter Stewart 3 May 2017
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The US has seen a 17.5% increase in coal production so far this year. (PA) The US has seen a 17.5% increase in coal production so far this year. (PA)

Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has signed 24 executive orders, issued more than 40 presidential memorandums and proclamations, and passed 28 bills – most of which have simply rolled back legislation enacted by his predecessor, Barack Obama. It has been widely noted that the number of presidential orders issued by Trump exceeds that by any president since World War 2.

Despite the flurry of activity, substantive action by Trump on energy has mainly been in the form of extensive deregulation of the sector. On 28 March, Trump signed a wide-ranging executive order that set in motion steps that will scrap Obama’s Clean Power Plan and ordered government agencies to review rules that might inhibit energy production. The order opens the way for easing environmental regulations on coal plants and oil and gas operations, including fracking. The United States is also reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s final cost estimate for its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to determine whether all or part of the regulation should be abandoned. 

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