Will Trump’s Executive Order be Enough to Turn Around US Coal Generation?

2017-07-20 - Electric Light & Power article, sponsored by ABB - June 8, 2017
On March 28th, President Trump signed the long-promised ”Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” executive order that will begin unwinding the Obama administration’s climate change regulation efforts. The executive order gives EPA Chief Scott Pruitt the complex and lengthy legal task of rewriting Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) and other carbon policies.

The CPP, announced by President Obama and the EPA in 2015, was designed to reduce CO2 emissions by 32% from 2005 levels of emission by 2030. Coal-burning units were the prime target for this reduction, since they have the highest rate of CO2 emission among fossil-burning generating units.

The Energy Independence executive order may lay the groundwork for policy changes, but the Pruitt EPA still has several high legal hurdles to surpass before the CPP can be removed and Trump can fulfill his campaign promise to remove the restrictive regulations.  And the question remains: If accomplished, will it be enough to turn the tide on a struggling coal industry with a nearly decade-long decline?

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