Top Trump aide trashes coal
Dylan Brown, E&E News reporter
Published: Friday, May 26, 2017
The White House’s top economic adviser yesterday dismissed coal, citing natural gas, solar and wind as ways President Trump can bring back manufacturing and jobs without sacrificing the environment.
“Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told reporters on Air Force One ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Italy.
“Natural gas, which we have become an abundant producer [of], which we’re going to become a major exporter of, is such a cleaner fuel. If you think about how solar and how much wind power we’ve created in the United States, we can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly.”
Gary Cohn Paul Elledge Photography/Wikipedia
The comments fly in the face of President Trump’s campaign promises to restore coal to its former glory and came as foreign leaders line up to sell the president on the Paris climate deal.
Cohn said he expects Trump to steer the climate conversation toward how it would affect trade and manufacturing but understands “as a businessman” that climate plays a role.
“He cares about the environment, but he also cares very much about creating jobs for American workers,” he said. “He wants to hear what the Europeans have to say about that.”
When it comes to emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement, Cohn said, President Obama created “a real unlevel playing field” that leaves the United States with far more work to do to reach its goals.
“The president is all about fairness,” he said. “So if we have an environmental restriction that’s unfair to us and not unfair to every other country, he’s not going to go with that.”