President Trump's commitment to reviving coal is increasingly sounding like an empty promise

Trump tries to revive coal ‘in vain’, EPA rolls back Obama’s Clean Power Plan

US President Donald Trump wants to revive coal and ‘re-enter the 19th century’, even as US utilities see the merit in shifting to the more profitable renewables. Furthermore, Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief, has ordered a roll back of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, an initiative to curb pollution from power plants, triggering anger from states, businesses and environmental groups.

The Attorney Generals of Connecticut and New York said they would sue the Trump administration to prevent “illegal efforts to turn the clock back on public health”. Experts are seeking a collective strategy to deal with the US at the upcoming Bonn climate conference.

Coal is continuing its slump despite Trump’s support, with 12coal-fired power plants having shut down since he took office. US coal plants currently employ about 52,000 people, which is down by 70% over the last three decades. By contrast, its solar and wind industries employed almost 10 times as many Americans last year.

Phasing out coal

Meanwhile, China has decided to shut down 150 coal plants, Indonesia will have no new coal plants in Java, and Canada and the UK have together announced a global alliance on coal phase-out.

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