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EcoWobbles - EcoUnionist News #147 (Special Edition)

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 31, 2017

Reaction to Donald Trump's executive order on climate, the environment, coal, and regulations:

Sierra Club Executive Director Micheal Brune on Trump's executive order: "These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires,” Brune said. “If we truly want to grow our economy, reduce air and water pollution, protect public health and create huge numbers of new jobs for American workers, we must seize the opportunity that is right in front of our eyes: invest more in clean energy including solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Trump's executive order: "... ... ... (sound of crickets chirping)... ... ..."


Global Anger and Dismay After Trump Slams Brakes on U.S. Climate Action - By Nika Knight, Common Dreams, March 29, 2017 - The world reacted with dismay and anger as President Donald Trump issued an executive order Tuesday that dismantled critical U.S. climate policies, betraying the country's international climate commitments.

Media reaction: Donald Trump’s climate and energy executive order - By staff, Carbon Brief, March 29, 2017 - Carbon Brief rounds up the extensive media coverage of the order, spanning analysis of the announcement and editorials reacting to the news.

Trump’s big new executive order to tear up Obama’s climate policies, explained - By Brad Plumer, Vox, March 28, 2017 - The key components of Trump’s new climate and energy order.

Jobs and Just Transition

Attention Donald Trump: New Report Shows Clean Energy Employs Far More Workers than Coal, Oil, & Gas - By Adam Beitman, Common Dreams,  March 27, 2017 - “Right now, clean energy jobs already overwhelm dirty fuels in nearly every state across America, and that growth is only going to continue as clean energy keeps getting more affordable and accessible by the day. These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires.”

Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every U.S. state - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, March 27, 2017 - Nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1, according to a new Sierra Club analysis of Department of Energy jobs data. And when it comes to coal and gas — two sectors President Donald Trump has promised to bolster through his upcoming executive order on energy regulation — clean energy jobs outnumber jobs dealing with those two fossil fuels by 5 to 1.

Donald the Medieval King Canute of Coal - By Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, March 29, 2017 - And Trump’s blinkered pro-fossil fuel agenda will not hold back the renewables revolution, with even the head of oil giant Shell saying the growth of renewables is “unstoppable”. As if to reiterate the point, according to a new Sierra Club analysis, clean energy jobs in the US now outnumber fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1. And that trend will only accelerate.

Donald Trump Jeopardizes America’s Global Position By Reversing US Climate Policy - By Farron Cousins, DeSmog Blog, March 28, 2017 - Germany's environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, echoed Stocker’s claims by saying that any country that begins moving backwards rather than forward is going to be working against its own self interests. Hendricks also pointed out that the renewable energy sector across the globe has been adding jobs at an astonishing rate, a trend that the United States may now miss out on thanks to the actions of President Trump.

Executive disorder: Trump’s climate policies bid goodbye to reality - By Richard Black, Climate Change News, March 29, 2017 - The solar industry, nascent though it is, already employs more than twice as many people as coal, and more than natural gas. One in every 50 new jobs created US-wide last year was in the solar power industry. An anti-renewables strategy is precisely the opposite of a job creation scheme.

The Fallout From Trump’s Review of Climate Rules: Uncertainty for Some, Opportunity for Others - By Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media, March 28, 2017 - But say you don’t care about carbon emissions; you just care about the clean energy industry -- with a specific focus on project deployments and jobs. From this perspective, the CPP repeal is at best a missed opportunity to accelerate growth in the sector.

Let's Fight for the Energy and Jobs Program We Really Need - By Brendan Smith, Labor Network for Sustainability, March 29, 2017 - The Trump Energy Plan and the Executive Order completely miss the boat on jobs and climate, and his policies are actually the ones that devalue workers," says LNS researcher and writer Jeremy Brecher, "Renewable energy jobs have been growing at a rate of 20% per year. Wind and solar are creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. Energy efficiency directly employs nearly 2,200,000 Americans and that number is expected to grow. Investing in a clean energy future makes sense not just from an environmental but a jobs standpoint."

Reframing the Here and Now: How to Fight Back on the Climate Front - By Kumar Venkat, Common Dreams, March 29, 2017 - We must also highlight the co-benefits of climate protection on the employment side. Clean-energy sectors are among the most dynamic when it comes to job growth, with about 800,000 Americans already employed in low-carbon energy generation and nearly a million workers focused on alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles. Another 2.2 million jobs involve energy efficiency products and services. -

Riverkeeper responds to the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan - By Cliff Weathers, Riverkeeper, March 28, 2017 - “The President’s actions will not be nearly as effective in creating jobs as investing in growing the clean energy sector that is already outpacing fossil fuels. Some 125,000 people in New York are employed in the clean energy economy, which benefited from 800% growth in solar from 2011 to 2016.”

Rollback of public lands coal moratorium accelerates climate change, enriches coal companies - By Audrey Fox, Friends of the Earth, March 28, 2017 - “Allowing new coal leasing on federal lands puts the world one step closer to the climate change abyss,” said Friends of the Earth Senior Political Strategist Ben Schreiber. “Trump is handing the fate of our planet to dirty coal companies that have repeatedly shown that they are willing to poison their workers and the public for their own profit.”

Statement by the Nature Conservancy Concerning the Executive Order Signed by Donald Trump Concerning Policies to Address Climate Change - By Geraldine Henrich-Koenis, Common Dreams, March 28, 2017 - “The very real losses to our economy and our community from ignoring climate impacts are considerable, but we’re also missing a substantial opportunity. These solutions bring with them more jobs, more innovation, more choices for consumers, cleaner air and water, and better health. These are benefits the American people want for themselves and for their families."

Top US coal boss Robert Murray: Trump 'can't bring mining jobs back' - By Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, March 27, 2017 - Trump has consistently pledged to restore mining jobs, but many of those jobs were lost to technology rather than regulation and to competition from natural gas and renewables, which makes it unlikely that he can do much to significantly grow the number of jobs in the industry, said Murray.

Trump allows coal companies to take taxpayers for a ride, opens up mining on public lands - By Mary Ellen Kustin, ThinkProgress, March 28, 2017 - Even if new leasing goes forward, critics say Trump’s order to lift the moratorium will do more for coal industry executives than it will for coal communities. Coal jobs have been in decline for decades — and not just because coal production is falling. Automation and new mining processes have diminished the number of jobs per ton of coal.

Trump Dismantles U.S. Climate Rules, Virtually Ensuring U.S. Will Break Paris Accord Promises - By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, March 29, 2017 - Certainly—certainly, fortunately, labor experts and market experts say that regardless of this rule, which seeks to release the restriction on leasing of federal lands for coal, they’re saying that it’s not necessarily going to bring back the coal industry. But if it did, the coal industry is so harmful not only to the communities that are host to coal-fired power plants, but also to the very workers whose jobs that President Trump purports to save, including the fact that 76,000 coal miners have died of black lung disease since 1968, while the industry has fought against the regulations to protect them from coal mine dust.

Trump Goes From Climate Denier to Climate Destroyer - By Andy Rowell, Oil Change International, March 28, 2017 - Even if coal production increases, it is likely that there will be increased mechanisation and not an increase in jobs: Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming argues that “the mines that are staying open are using more mechanization. They’re not hiring people. So even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs”.

Trump just gutted U.S. policies to fight climate change - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, March 28, 2017 - Energy experts and economists, however, have been quick to point out that it might be near impossible for Trump to deliver on his promises, especially in coal country.

Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record - By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post, March 28, 2017 - U.S. coal jobs, which number about 75,000, have been declining for decades. A senior administration official who briefed reporters Monday evening did not predict how many jobs might be spurred by this shift in policy.

Trump poised take first steps against climate action – and trip into a legal morass - By Charles Digges, Bellona, March 28, 2017 - The order, however, is bound to face numerous and tedious legal challenges and is unlikely to fulfill its promise of bringing back jobs in America’s long-flagging coal industry.

Trump scraps Obama climate plan, undermining international trust - By Megan Darby, Climate Change News, March 28, 2017 - Christiana Figueres, who led the UN climate body through to the Paris deal, said undoing climate policies would put the US on the back foot. “Trying to make fossil fuels remain competitive in the face of a booming clean renewable power sector, with the clean air and plentiful jobs it continues to generate, is going against the flow of economics,” she said in a statement.

Trump Signs Executive Order Obliterating Regulations on Carbon Emissions and Pollution - By Dahr Jamail, Truthout, March 28, 2017 - While much of Trump's order goes into effect immediately, other parts of it will take more time, such as hiring coal workers for an industry that is currently in free fall. This would take a large economic upturn in coal prices during a time when much of the rest of the world is weaning itself off the fuel, meaning it could be years (if ever) before those jobs are created and an ensuing escalation of coal production in the US occurs.

Trump Sweeps Away Climate Rules Vowing `New Energy Revolution' - By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, March 27, 2017 - Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune called Trump’s order "the single biggest attack on climate action in U.S. history" and said it was a misguided attempt to help workers displaced by the global shift to cleaner energy sources.

Trump Targets EPA And Obama Climate Change Regulations - By Dan Boyce, Inside Energy, March 29, 2017 - Most experts are skeptical this new order will result in many new coal jobs in the short term, as those jobs face bigger threats from automation and cheap natural gas than they do from federal regulation.

Trump to Issue Far-Reaching Reversal of Obama Climate Push - By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg, March 26, 2017 - Killing the Clean Power Plan is not enough to spark a coal revival and avert a wave of planned retirements of power plants using the fossil fuel, said Kevin Book, an analyst with Washington-based research firm ClearView Energy.

Trump to sign executive order undoing Obama's clean power plan - By Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, March 26, 2017 - Supporters of the clean power plan, including some Democratic-led states and environmental groups, argue it would promote thousands of clean energy jobs and help the US meet ambitious goals to reduce carbon pollution set by an international agreement reached in Paris in late 2015.

Trump to Strike Biggest Blow Against Obama Climate Legacy - By Climate Nexus, EcoWatch, March 28, 2017 - Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club agrees. "The best way to protect workers and the environment is to invest in growing the clean energy economy that is already outpacing fossil fuels, and ensuring no one is left behind," Brune said.

Trump’s climate rollback could cost taxpayers billions - By Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress, March 28, 2017 - Environmental experts have already begun pushing back on the Trump administration narrative that the executive order will be good for the American economy. In a statement released on Tuesday, said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, said that “regulations provide huge economic benefits to our society, with minimal, though generally positive, effects on jobs and productivity.”

Trump’s executive order puts the world on the road to climate catastrophe - By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, March 28, 2017 - Trump’s economic rationale for his policies is entirely bogus. This order, along with his budget, would undermine America’s ability to compete economically for perhaps the biggest high-wage job-creating sector of the foreseeable future: clean energy.

Trump’s Executive Order Won’t Save Coal Mining Jobs - By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Ari Natter, Bloomberg, March 27, 2017 - “The reality is that the demand for coal has been decreasing for a while and it’s going to continue to decrease,” Sheldon Stone, a partner and head of restructuring at the investment banking firm Amherst Partners, LLC, said in an interview. “Even by doing this you are not going to be bringing mining jobs back.”

What If They Killed The Clean Power Plan & Nobody Cared? - By Tina Casey, Clean Technica, March 27, 2017 - The coal industry has been cannibalizing its own jobs for generations without help from the Clean Power Plan, mainly because massive machines and explosives have replaced hand carts and pick axes.

What to Know About Trump’s Order to Dismantle the Clean Power Plan - By Tatiana Schlossberg, New York Times, March 27, 2017 - Removing regulations on coal-fired power plants wouldn’t necessarily bring back a lot of coal jobs. Most coal mining, especially mountaintop removal mining, is done by machines, so it would be hard to bring back the thousands of jobs that have been lost as coal becomes less and less profitable.

While Trump Attempts to Cut Clean Power Plan, Western States and Cities Expected to Move Forward on Clean Energy Growth - By Marta Stoepker, Common Dreams, March 28, 2017 - The clean energy growth is impressive, and some states in the West-- California and Nevada-- are considering stronger clean energy standards this year. However, without a Clean Power Plan, some states may not set clean energy goals and therefore miss out on job creation, pollution reduction, greater grid security and revenue opportunities. The Clean Power Plan also promises investment in environmental justice by setting a baseline of support for frontline communities that might not be guaranteed on a state-by-state level.

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