Coal has long been a reliable source of American energy, but it comes with tremendous costs because it is incredibly dirty. The same chemistry that enables coal to produce energy—the breaking down of carbon molecules—also produces a number of profoundly harmful environmental impacts and pollutants that harm public health. Air pollution and global warming are two of the most serious.
And the EPA is tacitly supporting Trump’s “I dig coal” policies by rolling back emission standards on coal plants. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist before taking up his current role, recently announced a new rule that will allow coal-fired power plants to emit more than 35 percent more global warming pollution than the current law allows.