New Documents Reveal Big Coal Execs Drafted Trump’s Paris Climate Withdrawal

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BAILEY T. STEEN | MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2018

While President Donald Trump continues his deregulation agenda, making life easier for the executives of coal country, environmentalists have cried that White House representatives are just following the blueprints of governing drafted by the wealthy elites. This isn’t just a left-wing narrative. It’s reality.

According to new documents obtained by E&E News, who made a request through 1982’s The Freedom of Information Act, it was Bob Murray, the wealthy CEO of the Ohio-based Murray Energy, who sent the White House around six drafts of presidential executives orders which included deregulation requests and for the United States to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. All the president had to do was sign Big Coal’s orders.

The report clarifies that none of these drafts were the ones officially signed by the president and put into effect, however you don’t have to be a political scientist to connect the dots between government and business. It’d be naive to assume the coal barons, who are oh-so-gracious, just thought they’d make the White House’s job easier by handing over a few policy drafts.

Consider the fact that Mr. Murray, a longtime Trump supporter, donated $300,000 to the president’s inauguration and donated over $1,000,000 to Super PACs devoted to getting him elected. It’s all fun and games until the big money starts rolling in — then it becomes serious Washington politics.

Journalists Hannah Northey and Benjamin Storrow go on to highlight a series of letters dated March 28, 2017, wherein which our wealthy Mr. Murray sent Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt requests on how to regulate his industry. Having looked over the letters, it just so happens to include demands to leave the Paris agreement. Three months after Mr. Murray sent over these requests, the president made the United States the only industrialised nation to no longer accept the climate agreement — going the likes of third-world Nicaragua and war-torn Syria who haven’t signed on.

“President Trump should issue an executive order to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and/or to direct the relevant federal agencies that they shall not require coal-fired electric generators to take action to comply with the Accord,” Murray wrote.

He also called for just “suspending EPA rules”, whether this be on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s dust rule or aggressive OZone polluting, as well as calling on the EPA and Congress to suspend “endangerment finding”, which is a 2009 rule under The Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. The New York Times reports that it was the Supreme Court who ruled the EPA have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases to protect citizens, labelling this request under “specific changes that cannot be effected through executive order.”

Communications between Murray, Trump and the administration were confirmed by Gary Broadbent, Murray’s personal spokesman, who gave his own Trumpian twist that the CEO was only providing documents aimed to “assist in the reversal of the illegal, job-killing, anti-coal regulations of the Obama administration.”

“Mr. Murray has always sought to secure reliable, low-cost electricity for all Americans, as well as to preserve and protect the jobs and family livelihoods of thousands of coal mining families,” Broadbent told E&E News. “We applaud the actions taken by President Trump’s administration to date to protect these jobs and to advance the energy security of the United States.”

But given the rise in coal profits and decline in American coal jobs over the years, given that companies trade skilled domestic labour for cheaper workforces illegally imported or abroad, how do these requests help the “forgotten man” Trump swore to protect? And how are these illegal when the highest court in the country declared regulation is within the EPA’s authority? Or are they just protecting their golden boy who’s carrying out the agenda they fund the GOP for every election cycle?

After all, the documents show they’ve got more allies in the White House than we expected, revealing the intentions of now-EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler. As the report notes, it was he, in fact, who used to work as Murray’s lobbyist for the industry, setting up the meeting between the coal CEO and Perry, handing over what amounts to a “four-page action plan” for making the coal industry big again.

This, evidently, is just the result of electing the richest administration to ever seek America’s most powerful office, displaying more questions about whether the so-called “drain the swamp” candidate is just another establishment bitch boy with his decisions outsourced from the industry themselves.

“We owe you. Thanks a million,” wrote J. Michael Eckard, director of federal affairs for FirstEnergy, who sent an email to the administration after the successful meeting. I, however, think it’s the other way around. The president owes his donors millions, and he’ll repay them anyway which way he can.

Thanks for reading!

Bailey T. Steen is a journalist, editor, artist and film critic based in Victoria, Australia, but is also Putin’s Puppet on occasion.

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