America’s Energy Dominance Won’t Sacrifice Environmental Quality

President Donald Trump declared during energy week that the United States would “usher in a golden age of American energy dominance.”

From rolling back egregious offshore drilling restrictions and power plant regulations to a policy review to revive nuclear energy, the Trump administration is making important headway to unleash America’s vast energy resources.

But energy dominance need not mean disregarding our nation’s strong environmental record, as too many have assumed.

Every announcement the Trump administration makes on energy and the environment has been met with vitriol and hyperbole from activist organizations and radical pundits.

For example, when the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced they were dismantling the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, Vice News wrote, “Trump takes steps to ensure more Americans have access to unsafe drinking water.”

Quite to the contrary, the WOTUS rule was an affront to private property rights and significantly overstepped the boundaries of proper federal government jurisdiction, and had little to nothing to do with safe drinking water, which is regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act.

The compatibility of energy production and environmental protection featured strongly during a panel featuring three of Trump’s Cabinet members a few weeks back:

  • Ryan Zinke, secretary of the interior, emphasized improving the environmental stewardship of federal lands. The secretary plans to solicit input from the Western governors, native tribes, and citizens living in those states. Zinke emphasized unlocking valuable resources for private sector development and advancing human knowledge by promoting innovative technologies.
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pursuing an agenda that rolls back regulations devoid of any significant environmental benefit. This plan empowers the states to customize policies responsive to local citizens.
  • Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to reduce bureaucracy at America’s national laboratories, where technological innovation can yield significant efficiency gains.

The United States has long been a global leader in the realm of environmental safety.

Through innovation and investment in new technologies, as well as through legislation, rule of law, and all-important property rights, air, and water quality have improved significantly in the United States.

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    rakooi

    |

    There is absolutely
    NO REASON WHY
    Solar, Wind, Nuclear, Natural Gas,Hydro,Geo Thermal,Tidal Energy
    cannot fill the 40% Killer Coal’s monopoly niche,
    as we dispose of KILLER COAL.
    ….and
    by the way,
    TODAY!
    “UNSUBSIDIZED” SOLAR, WIND generated electricity are substantially less expensive than cheapest KILLER COAL today !!

    TALK ABOUT MASSIVE REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH… the TOP ECONOMIC TIER has had its total taxes paid cut in half and that is on TRIPLED INCOME!

    A huge chunk of the cost of transitioning away from the KILLER Coal & OIL monopoly, can be paid for by STOPPING
    the endless subsidies,
    industry specific Tax Breaks,
    industry specific Tax Deferrals (most never to be paid) ,
    free land,
    free land use,
    free infra structure, etc.
    .
    Paul Ryan, August of 2016, estimated that by the end of 2016 Coal & Oil will have received just over a TRILLION DOLLARS
    in subsidies, free land, free infrastructure, industry specific tax breaks and tax deferrals etc.
    .
    …including EVEN foreign aid used as a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement to foreign nations for their subsidies to Our Oil & Coal Companies.
    *
    *
    “…There are numerous damaging & TOXIC environmental impacts of coal electric Generation that occur through its mining, preparation, combustion, waste storage, and transport.
    This article provides an overview:
    .
    **Acid mine drainage (AMD) refers to the outflow of acidic water from coal mines or metal mines, often abandoned mines where ore- or coal mining activities have exposed rocks containing the sulphur-bearing mineral pyrite.
    Pyrite reacts with air and water to form sulphuric acid and dissolved iron, and as water washes through mines, this compound forms a dilute acid, which can wash into nearby rivers and streams.[1]
    .
    **Air pollution from coal-fired power plants includes sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM), and heavy metals, leading to smog, acid rain, toxins in the environment, and numerous respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular effects.[2]
    .
    **Air pollution from coal mines is mainly due to emissions of particulate matter and gases including methane (CH4), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), as well as carbon monoxide (CO).[3]
    .
    **Climate impacts of coal plants – Coal-fired power plants are responsible for one-third of America’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making coal a huge contributor to global warming.[4]
    **Black carbon resulting from incomplete combustion is an additional contributor to climate change.[5] CHINA reported an 18% loss of snow pack and glacial ice due to Black Carbon.
    .
    **Coal dust stirred up during the mining process, as well as released during coal transport, which can cause severe and potentially deadly respiratory problems.[6]
    .
    **Coal fires occur in both abandoned coal mines and coal waste piles. Internationally, thousands of underground coal fires are burning now.
    .
    **Global coal fire emissions are estimated to include 40 tons of mercury going into the atmosphere annually, and three percent of the world’s annual carbon dioxide emissions.[7][8]
    .
    **Coal combustion waste is the nation’s second largest waste stream after municipal solid waste.[9] It is disposed of in landfills or “surface impoundments,” which are lined with compacted clay soil, a plastic sheet, or both.
    .
    **As rain filters through the toxic ash pits year after year, the toxic metals are leached out into the local environment.[10][11]
    .
    **Coal sludge, also known as slurry, is the liquid coal waste generated by washing coal. It is typically disposed of at impoundments located near coal mines, but in some cases it is directly injected into abandoned underground mines.
    Since coal sludge contains toxins, leaks or spills can endanger underground and surface waters.[2]
    .
    **Floods such as the Buffalo Creek Flood caused by mountaintop removal mining and failures of coal mine impoundments.
    .
    **Forest destruction caused by mountaintop removal mining – According to a 2010 study, mountaintop removal mining has destroyed 6.8% of Appalachia’s forests.[12][13]
    .
    **Greenhouse gas emissions caused by surface mining – According to a 2010 study, mountaintop removal mining releases large amounts of carbon through clearcutting and burning of trees and through releases of carbon in soil brought to the surface by mining operations. These greenhouse gas emissions amount to at least 7% of conventional power plant emissions.[14][15]
    .
    **Loss or degradation of groundwater
    – Since coal seams are often serve as underground aquifers, removal of coal beds may result in drastic changes in hydrology after mining has been completed.
    .
    **Radical disturbance of 8.4 million acres of farmland, rangeland, and forests, most of which has not been reclaimed
    — See The footprint of coal
    .
    **Heavy metals and coal
    – Coal contains many heavy metals, as it is created through compressed organic matter containing virtually every element in the periodic table – mainly carbon, but also heavy metals.
    The heavy metal content of coal varies by coal seam and geographic region. Small amounts of heavy metals can be necessary for health, but too much may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning).
    Many of the heavy metals released in the mining and burning of coal are environmentally and biologically toxic elements, such as lead, mercury, nickel, tin, cadmium, antimony, and arsenic, as well as radio isotopes of thorium and strontium.[16][17][18]
    .
    **Mercury and coal – Emissions from coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury in the United States, accounting for about 41 percent (48 tons in 1999) of industrial releases.[19]
    .
    **Methane released by coal mining accounts for about 10 percent of US releases of methane (CH4), a potent global warming gas.[20]
    .
    **Mountaintop removal mining and other forms of surface mining can lead to the drastic alteration of landscapes, destruction of habitat, damages to water supplies, and air pollution.
    Not all of these effects can be adequately addressed through coal mine reclamation.
    .
    **Particulates and coal – Particulate matter (PM) includes the tiny particles of fly ash and dust that are expelled from coal-burning power plants.[21]
    Studies have shown that exposure to particulate matter is related to an increase of respiratory and cardiac mortality.[22] [23]
    .
    **Radioactivity and coal – Coal contains minor amounts of the radioactive elements, uranium and thorium. When coal is burned, the fly ash contains uranium and thorium “at up to 10 times their original levels.”[24]
    **Subsidence
    – Land subsidence may occur after any type of underground mining, but it is particularly common in the case of longwall mining.[25]
    .
    **Sulfur dioxide and coal
    – Coal-fired power plants are the largest human-caused source of sulfur dioxide, a pollutant gas that contributes to the production of acid rain and causes significant health problems.
    Coal naturally contains sulfur, and when coal is burned, the sulfur combines with oxygen to form sulfur oxides.[26]
    .
    **Thermal pollution from coal plants is the degradation of water quality by power plants and industrial manufacturers
    – when water used as a coolant is returned to the natural environment at a higher temperature, the change in temperature impacts organisms by decreasing oxygen supply, and affecting ecosystem composition.[27]
    .
    **Toxins
    – According to a July 2011 NRDC report, “How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States” electricity generation in the U.S. releases 381,740,601 lbs. of toxic air pollution annually, or 49% of total national emissions, based on data from the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (2009 data, accessed June 2011). Power plants are the leading sources of toxic air pollution in all but four of the top 20 states by electric sector emissions.
    .
    **Transportation
    – Coal is often transported via trucks, railroads, and large cargo ships, which release air pollution such as soot and can lead to disasters that ruin the environment, such as the Shen Neng 1 coal carrier collision with the Great Barrier Reef, Australia that occurred in April 2010.
    .
    **Waste coal,
    also known as “culm,” “gob,” or “boney,” is made up of unused coal mixed with soil and rock from previous mining operations. Runoff from waste coal sites can pollute local water supplies.[28]
    .
    **Water consumption from coal plants
    – Power generation has been estimated to be second only to agriculture in being the largest domestic user of water.[29]
    **Water pollution from coal includes the negative health and environmental effects from the mining, processing, burning, and waste storage of coal.

    “The Trump administration has hit the pause button on an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the dumping of toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by the nation’s power plants into public waterways.
    “I have decided that it is appropriate and in the public interest to reconsider the rule,” Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

    |

    ANDRZEJEWESKI

    If you knew what you’re talking of
    it could be expressed in one or two
    short paragraphs.

    The FACT that you endlessly digress
    into unintelligible nonsense
    is VERY telling.

    I expect the full nonsensical wrath of your
    dementia.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

    |

    We need to take all the leaders of the various eco-freak groups and maroon them ona island for a month or more lets see them live the miserble primative life they would force upon us all

    Reply

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