Repealing climate policies
On March 28, 2017, President Trump took another step to repeal numerous Obama-era climate change policies. “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” President Trump stated while signing an executive order that repeals the Obama Administration’s climate change policies. President Trump wants fewer regulations in the fossil fuels industry, which could stimulate job growth.
Throughout his election campaign, President Trump was very vocal about his support of fossil fuels and related industries. One of his top priorities is to scale down the EPA’s (US Environmental Protection Agency) green regulations.
The executive order asks the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan aims for a 32.0% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030—compared to 2005. It focuses on natural gas (UNG), renewables (TAN), and the reduction of coal-based power generation. The executive order also lifts the temporary moratorium on new coal exploration on federal lands, which was imposed by the Obama Administration in 2016.
Will it really revive coal jobs?
Repealing climate policies might not have a significant impact on reviving coal (KOL) and related industry jobs. According to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration), the US power industry is planning to increase natural gas–fired power generation capacity by 11.2 gigawatts in 2017 and 25.4 gigawatts in 2018. EIA data state that available coal capacity fell 15% in the last five years.
Natural gas became a favorite choice for power generators. It surpassed coal in total power generation mix last year. It should be noted that utilities’ (XLU) switch has been influenced mainly by changing power generation economics driven by low natural gas prices—not just because of regulations.