By: Arcadia Davies
Scientists internationally have agreed that our climate is changing because of anthropogenic activities. Climate change is no longer a question. The effects of climate change are hurting ecosystems and people around the world, and yet we still have a president who ignores the urgency of this issue.
After being elected into office, Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since being appointed, Pruitt has succeeded in repealing the Clean Power Plan completed by the previous administration and has upset many businesses, politicians, and citizens.
Most recently, Pruitt proposed to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan that requires states to cut down on carbon emissions by transitioning to clean energy. Pruitt and Trump both have hopes that the repeal of this plan will bring jobs back to the coal industry and help our economy. This plan, however, is highly critiqued.
While some institutions have shown excitement about this repeal, many utilities have chosen to continue their efforts of shifting towards renewable energy sources because of state-level policies and because clean energy is more cost effective. States such as California and New York are also disregarding federal agenda and continuing efforts to reduce carbon emissions because of concerns about carbon dioxide levels.
It is widely known that the use of coal, and the process of mining it, is harmful to the environment and people’s health. The question now is, are Trump and Pruitt’s arguments worth considering if it could save the jobs of many people? Well, despite the claim that both men have made, revoking the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan is not guaranteed to bring back jobs for coal miners and will most likely harm the economy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump promising to bring back coal jobs is “akin to a politician 100 years ago pledging to restore the economic fortunes of blacksmiths and buggy whip makers.”
Today there are only 70,000 jobs left in the coal industry, but 650,000 jobs are available in the renewable energy field. According to Chris Hamilton of the Coal Administration, the coal industry will most likely never recover and get back its lost jobs.
It is time for the facts and statistics to speak for themselves, despite what Trump and Pruitt have said, the repeal of the Clean Power Plan will be destructive to the economy and people and will not bring jobs back to the coal industry. Not to mention, it will only contribute to the harm of our already fragile environment. The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment, but right now it seems Pruitt has his own mission, and it is doing the opposite.
Images via Wikimedia Commons.