On today's BradCast, Donald Trump has finally signed his long-promised Executive Order in hopes of gutting Barack Obama's climate policies and legacy, while pretending that it's about "ending the theft of American prosperity" by delusionally declaring an end to the imaginary "War on Coal". [Audio link to show follows below.]
Surrounded by coal miners and fossil fuel industry titans, Trump went to the Environmental Protection Agency today to sign what he is nonsensically calling his "Energy Independence" Executive Order. In his remarks before signing --- remarks which did not include the words "climate change" or "global warming" or even just "climate" or "wind" or "solar" or "renewable energy" --- Trump claimed the effort is meant to focus on "job creation" and "bringing back the coal jobs", even though experts agree those jobs are highly unlikely to return. That's thanks to the lower cost of cleaner burning natural gas, the automation of coal mining, and, most importantly, the renewable energy revolution which is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in both wind and solar.
Mother Jones' climate and energy reporter Rebecca Leber joins us on today's show to explain the details of Trump's order and the difficulties he is likely to encounter trying to implement much of it, including rolling back Obama-era (and earlier) environmental regulations that took years to enact, not to mention the long-standing court rulings and legislation they are meant to enforce.
Trump's orders, if enacted, would begin to roll back Obama's landmark Clean Power Plan (which allows states to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to help meet the U.S. commitment to the U.N. Paris Climate Agreement); gut emissions standards for new coal-fired power plants (if anyone ever decides to build another one); reconsider regulations on methane; revisit the previous Administration's "social cost of carbon" metric (Leber explains that important issue on today's show); and lift the moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands, among other things that Fox "News" and the fossil fuel industry have hoaxed Trump into supporting.
But, as we've seen in Trump's travel ban and attempt to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare"), simply signing an order is not the same as actually implementing complex legislation or even reversing previous policy and regulations. We discuss all of that, the opposition that is promised from environmental groups and Democrats, some amazing comments from the White House on a press call last night, and how the rest of the world is likely to respond to all of this, with Leber and our own Desi Doyen on today's show.
Also today: Speaking of ObamaCare, now that the GOP's scheme to repeal and replace it has, at least for now, gone down in such spectacular flames, both chambers of the Kansas state legislature have voted, by large numbers to expand Medicaid under the ACA. But, will the state's far-right, wildly unpopular Governor Sam Brownback sign the bill meant to help some 180,000 Kansans obtain access to health care --- even with the federal legislation footing the bill for almost all of it?
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)