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“You’re Gonna Love It”

 

Our president is accused of throwing wild punches but some of them have landed squarely on the jaws of coal’s critics. Here’s a ringside look.

In just a little over a month in office, Trump, EPA administrator Pruitt and Interior Secretary Zinke have taken bold steps to systematically dismantle the elaborate regulatory prison that team Obama locked the coal industry in. Who ever knew elections had so many liberating consequences? No wonder China’s party leaders don’t allow them.

First, we saw Congress and then the president move against the stream rule, the Office of Surface Mining’s gift to itself. Through this massive regulation, based on a fanciful reading of the agency’s legal authority, OSM hoped to acquire regulatory powers over mining operations that have long rested with state agencies. OSM would have also duplicated EPA’s authority to set water quality standards and, that way, create an expanded role for itself despite the dwindling number of coal mines it is properly empowered to regulate.

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The Club on the Head of American Workers

By the time you read this, the Sierra Club will have twice been reminded of former President Barack Obama’s boast that “elections have consequences.” The Senate will have confirmed Scott Pruitt’s nomination as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator following the committee’s endorsement. To the climate lobby that owned the EPA for the last eight years, Caligula is about to capture the convent. The many more who have been punished by the EPA’s regulations welcomed Pruitt as their savior.

Also, President Donald Trump signed the resolution of disapproval Congress passed last month, avoiding the so-called Stream Protection Rule. An oxymoron right up there with airline cuisine and military music, the stream rule will soon be extinguished, under the arcane Congressional Review Act. The Sierra Club loved this rule; the National Mining Association (NMA) hated it. It was the first rule overturned by the Trump presidency.

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Great Expectations

By Luke Popovich

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,” said Wordsworth after the French king was deposed. In the wee hours of November 9, in coal communities across the country, many miners would have felt it if they didn’t recite it.

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A Legacy We May All Regret

By Luke Popovich

We don’t yet know who the next president will be, but we do know that whoever succeeds President Barack Obama won’t be crowned with laurels by a grateful nation. Not after this election. This presidential honeymoon could be shorter than my first one.

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Behind Coal’s Decline: Federal Regulation, not Market Competition

A New Study Exposes One of the Biggest Cover-ups in Modern Industrial History

By Luke Popovich

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