It is refreshing to see an assessment (“Coal Makes a Comeback,” Review & Outlook, Aug. 17) recognizing that policy matters greatly, especially when it distorts energy markets. The Obama administration rules on mercury emissions from power plants, for example, had little to do with mercury, and everything to do with shortening the economic life of reliable-baseload coal power plants. Most of the costs—almost $10 billion annually—related to emissions the Environmental Protection Agency admitted posed no harm to public health.
The Trump administration’s prompt attention to reset the regulatory framework for coal has indeed instilled confidence that will allow the industry to perform to its true potential. Those who continue to deny the impact of regulatory policy ignore data from the Energy Information Administration showing that dismantling the Clean Power Plan will preserve 240 million tons of annual coal production. This also means saving tens of thousands of high-wage jobs at coal mines and throughout the coal value supply chain.
Coal serves a major role in ensuring our nation’s energy security through a lower cost, more diverse and reliable electricity supply. The prospects of achieving American energy security are dim without fully leveraging the nation’s largest single energy resource—coal. They are nonexistent when politically motivated policies are used to obstruct energy supplies.
See the article here.