President Trump’s boisterous press conferences sometimes cast a shadow over one of his most important achievements so far: his executive order suspending runaway Environmental Protection Agency rules that all but bankrupted the American coal industry. Three of America’s largest coal companies declared Chapter 11 in recent years largely as a result of rules like the Clean Power Plant Act, a gift of Barack Obama.
The regulations Mr. Trump rescinded were intentionally designed by Mr. Obama’s EPA to strangle American coal. Tens of thousands of coal miners and workers in related industries were sent to unemployment lines, but that didn’t bother the liberal fixers of “things that ain’t broke.” Coal towns in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia were devastated. The Sierra Club celebrated and said the crusade against coal wouldn’t be over until every coal miner was out of a job. Hillary Clinton said so, too. These cold liberals said the government could just send more welfare checks to Appalachia.
America was built on coal. Fossil fuels, following the demise of windmills and the like as the sources of inefficient production of electricity, provided the spark that ignited American industry and made it the industrial leader of the world, and kept it the leader for more than a century and a half. “America,” said Winston Churchill on the eve of World War II, “is a mighty boiler, and once alight there is no limit on what it can produce.” Coal fired that boiler.
Despite an eight-year assault on coal by fanatics who dream of an America cut down to size, coal is still responsible for almost a third of America’s electricity. Wind and solar power, despite enormous subsidies of more than $100 billion over the last decade, still produce less than 5 percent of America’s energy.
A law that’s been successfully used only once until now is the conduit for a whole lot of action on Capitol Hill.
Republicans in Congress are expected to send a stream of bills — most of which require a single sentence — to President Donald Trump’s desk, using a process known as the Congressional Review Act to repeal agency rules. The act was tucked into 1996 legislation tied to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s famous “Contract with America.”
Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency
More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.
In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.
“Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” said Mr. Lindzen, a prominent atmospheric physicist.
Outside of the Beltway, It's Morning in American Again
You'd never guess this from the end-of-the-world treatment President Trump gets in the mainstream press, but his election has unleashed a wave of optimism about the economy we haven't seen in more than a decade. This is huge news that has big implications about economic growth.
The latest business leaders' survey from JPMorgan Chase finds a dramatic increase in optimism among the 1,400 middle-market executives polled. It found that 80% of these executives are optimistic about the economy, which is nearly double the share expressing optimism just one year ago. And it's the highest level since this survey began seven years ago.
A California lawmaker was removed from the state Senate floor Thursday after refusing to stop delivering a speech criticizing late state Sen. Tom Hayden for his leadership role in the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.
Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen lived in South Vietnam as a child and fled with her family when its U.S.-backed government fell. She spoke during a portion of the Senate session reserved for memorializing people who have died, and the presiding senator told security to remove her.
Several sergeants-at-arms surrounded Nguyen and gently nudged her toward the door. Nguyen dodged them and continued reading her speech for nearly a minute before leaving the chamber.
“Today I recognize in memory of the millions of Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died in seeking for freedom and democracy,” Nguyen said before she was interrupted.
Teenage Iranian chess master banned from national team for refusing to wear a headscarf
“Some consider a hijab part of culture,” Paikidze said in an Instagram post announcing her decision. “But, I know that a lot of Iranian women are bravely protesting this forced law daily and risking a lot by doing so. That’s why I will NOT wear a hijab and support women’s oppression.”