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EDITORIAL: EPA’s announcement to roll back on Clean Power Plan seems to pander to Appalachia


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Monday, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt announced in Hazard County, Kentucky he and the Trump Administration would begin to pull back legislation on an Obama-era effort to produce clean energy.

“The war on coal is over,” Pruitt said. He told the audience that today in Washington D.C. he will be signing a new plan to roll back the Clean Power Plan. This is, again, another step back from the Paris Climate agreement that President Trump did not agree to just a few months prior.

Does this mean we are in for another battle between parties. that will inevitably result in an exhausted electorate? Is the Trump administration going to again have a stalemate within the Republican party that inevitably results in nothing, leaving Appalachia without any answers to the promises made during the election?

Yes, coal is important to Appalachia and especially this state, but the problem with this is that the rest of the country does not experience these effects of the “dying” coal industry. The other problem being that the rest of the country has heard the statistic that says the coal industry creates one-third of this countries green house gasses.

So, this effort to repeal the Clean Power Plan seems like, once again, an effort by the Trump administration to appeal to its base. That base being many hard working coal miners in Appalachia that Trump has already exploited.

The best example of that was when Trump chose to exit from the Paris agreement and used the citizens of Pittsburgh as an example of hard working class people who he represents, and not the citizens of Paris. A good statement if he had been President during 2000, but the Pittsburgh of today has one of the highest growths in young professionals coming to work there since 2014.

Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto tweeted this in response to the misinformed President Trump, “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

This, was a poor attempt to appeal to a base that is not even there anymore. Pittsburgh has become a city for millennials, start-up companies and film makers. For our president to miss on the current state of a major city is first alarming, but proof that he is out of touch and will attempt to appease his base as long as it gets him votes.

In the speech made yesterday by Pruitt Industry, companies rejoiced to hear the news of lessened regulations, but did hope for some lighter roll backs than what this administration is known for. Why is that? Because the Clean Power Plan had been stalled by court proceeding by Pruitt himself, saying that the Obama administration was abusing their power in passing a plan such as the Clean Power Plan.

The Trump administration would be wise to try and meet Democrats and moderates in the middle of the road, but based on their track record and stance with the Paris agreement it is unlikely. So what can we most likely expect? A battle between Republicans and moderates who are exhausted by Trump trying to shove his promises made to his base through congress. And a series of tweets belittling our representatives in Washington.

It is either time for Trump to learn from the mistakes of the embarrassment that was the Republican Healthcare plan. Or continue to stalemate legislation, and continue to try and revert this country all so that he can appease a base that shrinking by each of his tweets.

So, if you are a family member of a coal miner or your life is somehow affected by the coal industry, don’t rejoice just yet. This could just be another publicity stunt by the reality show that is the Trump administration. 

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