The media may think President Trump’s job is to make comments about race riots, but it’s actually to govern - making policy decisions and ensuring the smooth operation of the executive branch of the government. That involves more than the palace intrigue you often hear about at the White House. Far more importantly, it involves the decisions the president makes on a variety of matters that impact the lives of ordinary Americans.
It hasn’t been easy to make decisions that require the consent of Congress because the current Congress contains so many frauds and cowards, not to mention any specific names like John McCain, Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski.
But one of the benefits of succeeding Barack Obama, who enjoyed governing by executive order, is that such orders can be overturned by new executive orders. And on the matter of coal production, President Trump has produced some excellent results for the U.S. economy while everyone is wringing their hands about Civil War statues:
President Trump has called a cease fire to his predecessor’s “war on coal.” In February he signed a resolution repealing the stream rule under the Congressional Review Act. The Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is dismantling the power rule as well as the ash and mercury rules. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has re-opened leases and rescinded the royalty revaluation.
Meanwhile, coal is becoming more competitive as a fuel source relative to natural gas, whose price has risen 63% since March 2016 amid an expanding market. The Energy Information Administration says the U.S. will be a net exporter of natural gas this year.
Growing pipeline networks have boosted gas exports to Mexico and are providing new domestic outlets for gas trapped in the Marcellus and Utica Shales. Pipeline export capacity to Mexico is expected to nearly double by 2019. Several interstate pipelines are under review to deliver gas to the Midwest, eastern Canada and Gulf Coast for export. Liquefied natural gas exports have increased six-fold in the last year, and five new terminal projects are expected to be completed within three years. While coal and natural gas compete as electric power fuels, they can both prosper if energy markets expand.
This is all horrifying to the climate-change lobby, but they might note that U.S. coal exports are rising to countries that claim climate-change virtue. Exports to France increased 214% during the first quarter of this year amid a nuclear power plant outage. Other European countries like Germany and the U.K. are utilizing U.S. coal to stabilize unreliable renewable sources and make up for electric capacity lost from the shutdown of nuclear plants. First-quarter coal exports were up 94% to Germany and 282% to the U.K. Et tu, Angela Merkel ?
Coking coal used to make steel is also currently a hot commodity, and its price can soar whenever a storm hits Australia and shuts down mines as one did this spring. Metallurgical exports to China rose 357% during the first quarter. As much as Mr. Trump denounces China’s overproduction of steel, U.S. coal miners are benefitting.
Remember Hillary Clinton’s pledge that she would eliminate a lot of coal jobs if she was elected? That was mostly viewed through the lens of politics, and how it might cost her votes in states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It did, and we can all be grateful for that. But Hillary’s position on coal was far more important in terms of policy substance, where it would have continued Obama’s efforts to ruin an entire industry and put Americans at a disadvantage in world energy markets, not to mention raising the cost of power for the average consumer.
President Trump’s victory and the subsequent reversal of these policies are providing an economic boon to a nation that badly needed it.
It’s astonishing to realize that a major political party had, as part of its platform, to attack a crucial industry - especially when that industry’s success promises so much benefit to the country and the people in it. Maybe that’s why said party lost. The fact that it nominated a corrupt, inept, dishonest, rent-seeking carpetbagger probably didn’t help either, but let’s not quibble over details.
The things we give our attention to these days is really something. All week long we’ve been at each other’s throats over Nazis and statues, and we’re defining the presidency of Donald Trump based on statements he supposedly made - although if you’re going on the media’s interpretation of these statements, you’re being badly misled.
Meanwhile, the rebound of the coal industry has real impact on the people of this country. Yet chances are you don’t know anything about it. Give the media some time to figure out how to make it a racial issue and then maybe they’ll pay attention to it.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com
A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.Commenting Policy
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