Japan To Build 45 New Coal Power Plants

1) Japan To Build 45 New Coal Power Plants; Green Energy Too Expensive
The Daily Caller, 1 February 2017 Environmental activists are fuming over Japan’s plans to build as many as 45 new coal-fired power stations in the coming years. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is still firmly behind plans to build coal plants, despite repeated pressures from environmentalists to stop construction of the major new coal plants. Abe wants more new coal plants to make sure the island nation isn’t too reliant on any one source of electricity. Officials promised to replace nuclear power with wind or solar, but this caused the price of electricity to rise by 20 percent. –Andrew Follett

2) Australian Government To Fund Construction Of New Coal Power Plants
The Australian, 1 February 2017 Australia’s Turnbull government is planning to help fund the construction of new clean-coal-fired power stations­ in an extraordinary meas­ure to intervene in the looming energ­y security and pricing crisis. In a move to address the premature closures of state power plants, the federal government will look to either repurpose plants or directly invest in the construction of new-generation coal-fired plants in partnership with the ­private sector. A senior government source confirmed Malcolm Turnbull had asked late last year for options to fund “ultra-super-critical power plants” to provide clean-coal alternatives and lower fuel costs, which would not only ­alleviate price pressure for consumers and business but arrest the decline in Australia’s competitive advantage in manufacturing. –Simon Benson

3) Senate Democrats Boycott Planned Committee Vote on Trump EPA Pick 
The Wall Street Journal, 1 February 2017 Senate Democrats boycotted a planned committee vote Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a move that delays the nomination but also risks prolonging the confusion that’s gripped an agency lacking clear leadership. Because Republicans are in the majority in the Senate, the Democratic boycott, which prevented the committee from voting Wednesday, will likely delay but not derail Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation. –Amy Harder

4) Julie Kelly: Meltdown At The EPA
National Review Online, 31 January 2017 It looks like the EPA will be the agency hardest hit by the Trump sledgehammer. For eight years, President Obama used the agency as his de facto enforcer of environmental policies he couldn’t pass in Congress even when it was controlled by his own party. If Obama was the climate-change bully, then the EPA was his toady, issuing one regulation after another aimed at imaginary polluters who were allegedly causing global warming. Jobs were lost, companies were bankrupted, and an untold amount of economic growth was stymied out of fear of reprisals from this rogue agency. The courts halted many of the EPAs most overreaching and unlawful policies initiated by Obama — such as the Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Rule, two regulations aimed at farmers and coal producers. Unsurprisingly, people in these sectors voted heavily for Trump. –Julie Kelly

5) Why Environmentalists Are So Worried About Trump’s Supreme Court Pick
Inside Climate News, 1 February 2017 For environmentalists worried about future Supreme Court decisions on climate change, the biggest difference between Donald Trump’s nominee to the court and Barack Obama’s boils down to one word, Chevron. Neil Gorsuch, chosen by Trump to fill the vacancy of Antonin Scalia, is seen as a steadfast foe of the Chevron standard. That principle says courts should defer to federal regulatory agencies when the regulators are carrying out laws that are ambiguous. Chevron is the main reason that climate hawks reacted as they did to the Gorsuch nomination. Gorsuch calls Chevron an “abdication of judicial duty.” And that duty is to “interpret the law and declare invalid agency actions inconsistent with those interpretations.” That only heightens the panic of environmentalists who, having lost control of both chambers of Congress and of the White House in less than a decade, fear losing out in the Supreme Court. –John H Cushman Jr.