To put the miners “back to work,” the President announced, he was lifting the moratorium on coal leases on federal lands. He was also ordering a review of his predecessor’s Clean Power Plan, that “crushing attack on American industry.”
.. his order seems designed to cleanse the E.P.A. of what Senator James Inhofe, Republican, of Oklahoma, recently described as “all the stuff” on the agency’s Web site “that is brainwashing our kids.”
.. The irony of the executive order, as many analysts have already pointed out, is that it denies economic realities, too. The C.P.P., Reilly said, largely locked in “what was going to happen anyway”—namely, a steady decline in the demand for coal caused by Trump’s beloved free market.
.. Repealing the C.P.P., Reilly predicted, “will do little or nothing to help out-of-work coal miners.” Even Robert Murray, the C.E.O. of Murray Energy, the country’s largest private coal company, recently said that coal jobs weren’t going to come back in the multitudes that Trump has promised.
.. Indeed, economists have projected that the cost of implementing the C.P.P. would be recovered in public-health benefits alone, since it would reduce soot-and-smog-forming emissions. This is especially true for communities downwind of coal plants, which have been suffering for decades.
According to the E.P.A.’s own estimates, the C.P.P. would help prevent as many as thirty-six hundred premature deaths, seventeen hundred heart attacks, ninety thousand asthma attacks among children, and three hundred thousand missed workdays and school days every year.
.. Trump’s proposed cuts to the E.P.A. budget would result in the elimination of approximately thirty-two hundred jobs.