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June 5, 2018

COMMENTARY: Trump Can't Save Coal, Experts Say

By Rainey Center

Rainey Center co-founder and CEO Sarah Hunt was quoted in a Climate Wire article today regarding how economic and political issues are affecting the coal industry's future.

Cheaper natural gas and renewable energy is making coal less competitive, according to analysts -- making President Donald Trump's hopes to support the coal industry more difficult.

The next president can easily reverse course, said Sarah Hunt, chief executive of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy. What isn't likely to change is the economics facing coal.

"On the energy and climate issue, we all do need to have a sit-down and think about it, because piling subsidy on top of subsidy for preferred energy or preferred community is not a good approach," Hunt said. "There certainly are solutions, whether it's looking at regulations, looking at what we need to do as a country to position ourselves for the coming change of automation, artificial intelligence, globalization — which is going to continue."

Hunt points to a broader problem divorced from coal. The ineffectiveness of Congress has outsourced more policymaking to the executive branch. That was true under President George W. Bush and became even more true under President Obama. Just look at the staying power of his Clean Power Plan, an effort to limit power plant carbon emissions; it was thrown asunder by the current administration. That momentum is hardening ever more under Trump, Hunt said.

Read the full article at Climate Wire: Trump can't save coal, experts say.

Photo by Alan Stark via Flickr

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