Trump executive order may lead to U.S. coal resurgence
The new administration's latest move to revive the coal industry and rewrite an Obama-era power plan that would have shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants is bound to benefit the state of Illinois, according to the head of a public policy think tank.
“Mining is a big deal in Southern Illinois," Joseph Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, said during a Wednesday interview on The Morning Answer. "Those were tens of thousands of good jobs down there."
Bast, who focuses on fighting for energy independence and opposing junk science, said he sees a potential barrier that may keep Illinoisans from reaping the benefits of Trump’s executive order. He believes companies like Exelon, an energy company based in Chicago, haven’t cared about their customers in decades and they may not do what is needed to bring coal jobs back.
“They don’t care what the rates are and they are not going to make an effort to get coal back into their portfolio," he said. "So, unless the Illinois citizens get really upset and make a lot of noise about that, I don’t think we are going to benefit as much as other states are from what President Trump is doing."
With EPA regulations falling by the wayside, Bast believes federal subsidies for renewable energy must be the next thing to go.
Radio show host Dan Proft agreed, saying Franklin County and other rural communities where people rely on government jobs to pay the bills will experience the positive economic impact of roll back in these regulations and policies. Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
“This is a president that really gets it. I think he understands climate science way better than President Barack Obama ever did,” Bast said. “Stop funding political science and all of this advocacy stuff that comes out of the EPA and the United Nations and say, ‘We are way ahead of the science here.’ Let’s back away from it, let's stop wasting hundreds of billions of dollars, and let's focus on making America great again."
With the war on coal potentially coming to an end under the Trump Administration, what does the future hold for people working in the renewable energy sector?
“I think a lot of them are going to have to find a real job,” Bast said.