China says committed to Paris accord after Trump climate actions
Apr 05 2017 by Harriet Stone
The amount of electricity generated by coal has fallen by more than a quarter since its peak and is not expected to rebound even after Trump's reversal of the Clean Power Plan, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
The bill, titled the Clean Air, Healthy Kids Act, would block federal agencies from implementing the actions outlined in the executive order.
President Donald Trumpsigned an executive order on Tuesday that will begin a lengthy process of dismantling former President Obama's signature achievement on climate change - regulations that put limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Trump's unfortunate and misguided rollback of environmental protections has led to a depressing and widespread belief that the United States can no longer meet its commitment under the Paris climate change agreement. Trump boasted about a new era of American energy, telling coal miners standing behind him, "You know what it says, right?"
Trump's administration, however, may be more divided about the Paris Agreement than his actions convey. Others see a silver lining for the Paris Agreement: Maybe the failure of USA leadership will clear the way for other nations to work toward a more ambitious shift away from fossil fuels.
Natural gas is cleaner, more abundant, and cheaper to produce than coal. Overall, Americans agree that renewable energy sources are well worth researching. The Climate Mayors described climate change as the country's single greatest threat - and its greatest economic opportunity. There are twice as many solar-power workers as coal miners alone. That's when US coal production was near its peak.
Obama promised past year to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by about 26 per cent from the 2005 level by 2025. It has a settled agreement to close its last coal-fired power plant - TransAlta in Centralia - and Puget Sound Energy is due to submit its plan to replace coal energy from the Coalstrip plant in Montana with renewable sources.
The executive order rolls back multiple other federal regulations, such as a moratorium on leasing federal lands for coal mining purposes.
Zou said the key factors in the USA carbon reduction and low-carbon agenda still remained intact under Trump; for instance, the tax reduction and exemption for renewable energy is not likely to be rescinded. They have joined the NGOs that have been calling for regulations for years, and the growing number of countries around the world who are openly expressing their concern at the direction the United States is now taking. "They need to move ahead on the climate change front no matter what Trump's government does".