America's dirty secret

Barack Obama has announced a climate policy limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in the United States, which collaborates to decrease of dependency of coal. It seems a great attitude; nevertheless, it just shit attention to Asia. It expects coal demand in US goes down in 20 percent; as a result, coal companies will focus in export coal to countries: China - which consumes almost half of the world's coal and demand has soared, South Korea, India and Japan. To facilitate it, these companies are planing to built three new coal-export ports in the Pacific coast. The biggest problem pointed out by environmentalists is the whole coal sold which will enter the global atmosphere the same way, would eclipse the savings from Obama's new power plant rule. Supporters argue that if United States doesn't sell, someone will do; therefore, it is an opportunity that US cannot miss. Moreover, the construction of ports will created 10,000 jobs, bring $1.5 billion in private investment into the Pacific Northwest, and  benefit industries such as timber and agriculture. "Energy economist Thomas Power, a research professor at the University of Montana, says the exports will reduce prices, raise consumption and reduce investment in other technologies" (Savage, 2014, p. 34). Another point is "the coal that would go through the new ports would come from Wyoming's Powder River Basin, where 80 per cent of the coal resource is owned by the federal government" (Savage, 2014, p. 34). Under this circumstances, the United States is not polluting the environment using coal, but it is selling coal for other countries polluting the same they did. Consequently, US indirectly continues responsible for emissions of greenhouse gases. So, we must ask: Are the US acting effectively and fairly against global warming?

Savage, L. C. (2014, Jun 23). America's dirty secret: all the benefits of Barack Obama's tough new climate-change policy could be wiped out by plans to ship excess U.S. coal to China. Maclean's, 127(24), p. 34.