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While not directly mentioned here, US Senator Markey has been fighting the dirtiest energy of all – nuclear power – for many decades now. Nuclear is not even “carbon free”. It creates greenhouse gases throughout the entire nuclear fuel chain, starting with mining. The carbon discharged by nuclear power stations is radioactive carbon 14.

US Senator “Markey: Trump Executive Order Is Declaration of War on Climate Action, Public Health and Clean Energy Monday, March 27, 2017
Lawmaker plans to introduce bills to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050, reform federal coal leasing program, block export of Keystone XL oil and refined product, unleash offshore wind energy Washington (March 27, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Chair of the Senate Climate Clearinghouse, released the following statement today after the media reports that President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order this week to stop the Clean Power plan and climate performance standards for new power plants, to drop the consideration of climate change and the social cost of carbon when evaluating government actions, and to resume leasing federal coal at low prices to the coal industry. Senator Markey is introducing legislation today and in the coming weeks to push back on these Trump administration attacks.  

“President Trump didn’t issue an executive order today, he issued a declaration of war on American leadership on climate change and our clean energy future,” said Senator Markey. “After announcing an Office of American Innovation, this executive order is all about ensuring American Energy Stagnation. This executive order is one massive giveaway to big oil and coal corporations at the expense of taxpayers and decades of progress on climate change, clean energy and public health protections.

“After releasing a budget that ends federal research and development funding for 21st century innovative energy technologies, President Trump now wants to send us back to the 19th century of energy policy, energy technology, and science. The Trump administration says ‘yes’ to sending the dirtiest Canadian oil to Latin America and China after it crosses the American Plains, but ‘no’ to providing American leadership as China and Latin America make historic commitments to the global agreement on climate change. 
 
“President Trump’s previous executive order that weakens fuel economy emissions standards is really where the rubber hits the road when it comes to American energy independence. We still import three million barrels of oil per day from OPEC nations. Keeping strong fuel economy standards in place is the best way to increase American energy security and decrease carbon pollution.
 
“That is why I will be introducing legislation that promotes energy security by keeping Keystone oil here in America for our consumers, that protects American taxpayers and our environment by ensuring that dirty tar sands oil doesn’t get a ‘get out of Canada tax free card,’ and that reforms the federal coal leasing program to protect America’s climate change goals. In the coming weeks, I also will be introducing legislation that puts America on a path towards 100 percent clean and renewable energy and that unleashes the potential of offshore wind.”

Today, Senator Markey is introducing the following legislation:
 
The COAL Reform Act would implement the recommendations of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Interior Department Inspector General to protect taxpayers and our climate. The actions the Obama administration had been taking to reform the federal coal program, that the Trump Administration is undoing in its executive order, were consistent with Senator Markey’s legislation. 
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE
https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2017-03-27-MineralLeasingAct-Markey.pdf ### https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/markey-trump-executive-order-is-declaration-of-war-on-climate-action-public-health-and-clean-energy

Update note: Markey’s coal bill appears unrelated to clean energy. A reader has called it “smoke and mirrors”, but it seems worse than that. It apparently regards fair value for coal mining, including exports. Read and judge for yourself. WTF? Did someone swap his bill?

Update note 2: Markey may be doing the coal bill and GAO study to buy time and if the US gets a good price for the coal then it is less likely that China will buy it. Most coal was being exported. Markey’s also dealing with a Republican Senate, and might be able to get this legislation through them. The so-called “Clean Power Plan” wasn’t clean at all. Not only did it promote nuclear, falsely claiming that it is low carbon, but they were just reducing pollution by approximately 1/3rd, as compared to 2005. The Trump admin apparently wants the full level of pollution.

Update note 4: Markey has been trying to make sure that the United States gets fair value for its coal on public land. Currently the US taxpayer is paying: https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-to-reintroduce-legislation-to-reform-coal-leasing-on-americas-public-lands

Update note 3: COAL exports from the US: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35852

An earlier GAO report requested by Markey:
In fiscal year 2012, about 42 percent of the 1.05 billion tons of coal produced in the United States came from coal tracts leased under the federal coal leasing program. Interior’s BLM is responsible for managing this program, including estimating the fair market value of the coal to be leased. GAO was asked to examine this program. (Representative Markey originally made this request as Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He is now a member of the United States Senate.) This report examines (1) the number of tracts leased, along with the trends in associated coal production and revenues generated since 1990; (2) BLM’s implementation of the process to estimate fair market value for coal leases; (3) the extent to which BLM considers coal exports and domestic coal reserve estimates when estimating fair market value; and (4) the extent to which BLM communicates information on federal coal lease sales to the public. GAO analyzed data on coal leasing activity, examined regulations and case files for coal lease sales, and interviewed BLM and other officials. https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-140

Nonetheless, the inclusion of this coal legislation in the news release seems misleading.

WE NEED MORE SOLAR AND SOLAR PANEL CARS AT AFFORDABLE PRICES.