There Is No Such Thing as Clean Coal

The final version of President Trump’s jihad against clean power has been released:

Under Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency has branded the rewrite as the Affordable Clean Energy rule and designed it to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to bring back the coal industry.

This kind of Orwellian branding has been around for a long time, but this really nails the whole genre. Clean energy = more coal. It’s the official version of Trump’s belief that if he says “clean coal” often enough, then coal will actually become clean.

I don’t know if this is just a routine lie on his part or if he’s really such a dunce that he doesn’t realize there’s no such thing. I don’t think anyone knows. But if Trump’s plan goes into effect, thousands more people will die and gigatons more carbon will be spewed into the air. And the jobs? They’ll keep declining because the cheapest coal is strip-mined out west, where it’s mostly done by machines. But I don’t suppose Trump knows that either.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.