THE FIRST 100 DAYS: Coal at a Crossroads

Today, the nation’s coal industry is at a crossroads. Coal production is up approximately 17 percent year over year (source EIA), but the question remains as to whether this is sustainable or simply a response to a temporary swing in the overall economics.

Less than three months into his term, President Trump has already taken a number of actions that have helped the industry. And he has indicated he plans for additional steps.

ACTIONS TAKEN OR PENDING:

  1. Agency Appointment: Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency
  2. Agency Appointment: Rick Perry to head the Energy Department
  3. Agency Appointment: Ryan Zinke to head the Department of the Interior
  4. Executive Order: 90‐day regulatory freeze (Jan. 20, 2017)
  5. Executive Order: Agency review to cut red tape and unnecessary regulations (Jan. 30, 2017)
  6. Executive Order: For every new regulation, agencies must cut two (Jan. 30, 2017)
  7. Executive Order: Regulatory Reform (Feb. 24, 2017)
  8. Executive Order: Rescinding the Waters of the United States Rule (Feb. 28, 2017)
  9. Executive Order: Rescinding the federal coal leasing moratorium (March 28, 2017)
  10. Executive Order: Ordered a review of GHG regulations (March 28, 2017)
  11. Congressional Review Act Resolution: Rescinding the Stream Protection Rule (Feb. 2, 2017)
  12. Congressional Review Act Resolution introduced in Senate (SJ Res. 21) to overturn the Cross‐State Air Pollution Rule update to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (March 2, 2017)
  13. Pending Budget: Cut EPA by 3,200 positions or 30 percent of its budget (March 16, 2017)
  14. Pending Budget: Cut funding for implementation of Clean Power Plan (March 16, 2017)
  15. Pending Budget: Cut support for the UN Climate Change efforts (March 16, 2017)
  16. Possible: Congressional Bill rescinding the Coal Ash Rule (Passed House/ Pending Senate)
  17. Possible: Action to reduce the further impacts of the MATS regulations

The choices of Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy and Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of Interior were welcomed across the fossil fuel energy industry. In his capacity as Oklahoma AG, Scott Pruitt was a leader in challenging unwarranted regulation and fought against overreach by federal agencies. Mr. Pruitt is serious about cooperative federalism and has a track record to prove it. He has promised to return the EPA to its job of administering the laws as passed by Congress. He will change EPA’s focus from environmental activism at any cost to a common sense approach that balances economic and environmental consideration. Perry is the former governor of the largest energy producing state in the nation and, as governor, presided over the fastest growing economy in the nation. Zinke is a former Congressman from Montana, whose common‐sense approach to legislation will be a tremendous asset to the nation. They share a vision with President Trump of a leaner regulatory approach that protects the environment while also fostering the development of industry and strengthening the nation’s economy. This approach was outlined in the recently released outline of the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for this year.