Energy

Coal, wind and solar: Joe Biden’s fascinating cocktail for clean energy

President Joe Biden mobilized the entire United States government to tackle climate change, including ordering the Central Intelligence Agency to evaluate global warming as a danger to national security. Nevertheless, coal, the most commonly criticized fossil fuel for the global warming, was left out when the selling of leases to remove oil and gas from public property froze. For a leader who has promised to make the power grid carbon-free by the year 2035 or who has claimed the world’s “prospective depends on renewable energy,” this was a notable absence.

As a component of a wider study of fossil-fuel leasing, the White House national environment advisor Gina McCarthy stated coal leasing would also get a review. However, unlike federal oil and gas production, which Biden vowed to target while running for president, a delay in the sale of coal rights “was not a portion of the campaign pledges.” Administration officials wanted to include coal in the directive; according to 3-people familiar with the issue who requested not to be identified discussing internal negotiations, the decision had been made to keep it off the agenda.

One consideration in the White House’s move was how it would impact lawsuits over the revocation of an older Obama-era ban by then-President Donald Trump. Last year, green activists and Native Americans submitted a new appeal to the revival of coal leasing by the Trump administration, alleging that the government did not adequately measure the environmental damage of the move. That case is still waiting in Montana before the federal district court. It is not clear if the pending lawsuit may have clashed with a White House’s coal order. But while the federal coal sales have fallen along with fossil fuel production, new and updated leases have continued to be granted by the government, stated Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine.

“It is really essential for this presidency to stop issuing licenses that enable for the federal coal infrastructure obligations for the next two decades when it is totally preventable and entirely unnecessary,” Harbine added. Politically, coal is hazardous terrain. Question ex-President Barack Obama, who has been accused of pursuing a “war on the coal” for many years by advancing measures banning extraction practices and emissions of power plants. On the campaign trail in the year 2016, Trump used the assertion, showcasing miners in hard hats at the rallies or even plowing it out on stage. In a once consistently Democratic state of the West Virginia, the popularity helped him score major wins.

Biden has generally resisted clear discussion about his coal policies. However, he has consistently vowed that a surge of spending in renewable energy would bring people to work in the high-paying wind turbine as well as solar panel union positions. On Wednesday, Biden reiterated that he would work to “rejuvenate the coal, oil, and gas as well as power facilities communities’ economies,” beginning with job growth that would restore old mines and rejuvenate once-polluted sites.

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