Earth to Trump: There’s No Such Thing as “Beautiful, Clean Coal”

by Lauren Reid

January 31, 2018

Hypocrisy is the name of the game in Trump’s first official State of the Union address.

Donald Trump declared war on EPA regulations and cleaner energy alternatives during his State of the Union speech.

“We have ended the war on American energy. And we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.”

— Donald Trump, State of the Union, January 30th, 2018.

It is a stretch, to put it mildly, that the U.S. has officially ended its “war” on American energy. Domestic oil and natural gas production — which steadily increased through the Obama Administration — is booming, and expected to surpass the crude oil output from Saudi Arabia by 2019.

So rather than ending a war, he’s starting one — on EPA regulations and cleaner energy alternatives. His tired diatribes about coal, an industry that cannot keep pace with cheaper, more renewable resources, lacks a basic understanding of modern solutions and merely doubles down on prehistoric fossil fuel projects in the name of ‘political convenience’. Naturally, this was to be expected.

Yet with multiple nods throughout the evening to the millions of Americans affected by wildfires, floods and hurricanes in 2017 — which cost countless lives, and record-breaking $306 billion in damages — the speech illustrated a staggering breadth of hypocrisy that our government would push for the same energy production methods that facilitated these catastrophes in the first place. It would almost be laughable if we didn’t find ourselves at such a critical and deadly juncture in the fight against climate change.

What we saw last night was Trump’s solemn promise to continue paving the way for projects that further devastate the health and wellbeing of American citizens and the environment around us.

This includes allowing oil and gas companies to plow ahead with their plans to construct massive new pipelines across North America, threatening our drinking water and the rights of indigenous communities; It involves the opening of almost ALL of America’s coastline to oil drilling, enraging citizens and members of both political parties; It embraces the vast shrinking of federal lands and national monuments, for potential exploitation by the fossil fuel industry. And it’s not just the policies that are disastrous — the oil industry itself will stop at nothing to protect these aims and their profits, suing groups like Greenpeace as part of an insidious trend of silencing dissent around their environmentally destructive practices.  


Don’t view the State of the Union as an invitation to move toward less action for our climate or for our communities. Especially ones threatened by fear-laced efforts of the Trump administration to derail immigration and lay an assault on DACA recipients

Now more than ever we need your voice and support to push back against the egregious threat this administration poses to our local communities, economies, and ecosystems.

Lauren Reid

By Lauren Reid

Lauren Reid is the International Communications Lead with the Clean Air Now Campaign. She first volunteered with Greenpeace on the Rainbow Warrior in 2015, for a campaign against overfishing and human rights abuses observed at sea. Lauren is based in New Orleans, LA and you can peep her on Twitter @Lo_Pickles.

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