Trump Promised ‘Clean Coal,’ But It Doesn’t Exist

Posted by Talyn Brown-Wolf, April 1, 2017

Flanked by coal miners, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday rolling back regulations that have dogged coal executives but have also provided them a convenient scapegoat for layoffs and bankruptcies that had little connection to environmental rules… Yet, even though coal barons admitted it wouldn’t happen, Trump vowed to bring coal roaring back, with just the stroke of his pen. Not only did this executive order mark the start of a second act for an anemic industry, Trump said that this time things would be different… “My administration is putting an end to the war on coal,” Trump said. “We’re going to have clean coal, really clean coal.”… That deserves some examination. Can coal, by far the dirtiest fossil fuel, really be clean energy? Or is “clean coal,” as environmentalists have long said, a marketing myth purveyed by a struggling industry?… To start, it’s helpful to look at who uses the term. The phrase appears to spike in U.S. Google search results in presidential election years. “Clean coal” surged into the public vernacular in October 2008, one month before Barack Obama was first elected president. Use of the term spiked again in October 2012 and October 2016. The phrase was searched most heavily in major coal-producing states, such as West Virginia and Kentucky.

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