President Donald Trump announced he’s lifting Obama-era policies preventing the financing of overseas coal plants, along with reviewing policies hindering nuclear energy.
“We will begin to revive and expand our nuclear energy sector, which I’m so happy about, which produces clean, renewable and emissions-free energy,” Trump said during a speech Wednesday. “A complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy will help us find new ways to revitalize this crucial energy resource.”
Trump will encourage the World Bank to finance coal plants in developing nations, and his administration will begin a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear power policy. The administration is expected to push a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Environmentalists began attacking the policy shift before Trump had even announced it.
“The nuclear industry’s promises of revival have proven nothing less than an extremely expensive fool’s errand,” Damon Moglen, senior strategic adviser of the environmental group Friends of the Earth, said in a press statement. “By calling for more nuclear energy, Trump must be reliving his affection for bankruptcy and poor investment opportunity. The future is about renewable energy.”
Trump has already signed resolutions to repeal 13 major regulations to eliminate 4.3 million hours of paperwork and $36.2 billion in compliance costs.
Coal and nuclear power provided about 30 and 20 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. in the year 2016 respectively, according to data from Energy Information Administration (EIA).