With Trump as dealmaker, could coal be subsidized?
From E&E News:
The political element is what makes direct appeals to this White House, with its focus on American-made everything, so different when it comes to the energy subsidy picture, noted Eli Lehrer, president of the right-leaning R Street Institute. Knowing the promises Trump has made to coal miners, it’s possible the administration would step in to boost the industry, perhaps on the grounds of providing economic development for coal-heavy regions.What’s exceptional about a coal subsidy is that federal aid is usually designed to overcome a technological hurdle, a seeding of a new innovation that yields a societal benefit. Coal is an established industry drowning amid a changing energy and political landscape — energy consumption is decreasing, clean energy sources are achieving parity, and political leaders are more conscious of climate change. Any financial support would prop up an industry rather than give it a new future, which isn’t historically the goal of new subsidy programs, Lehrer said.
“If coal is to be the dominant objective and preserving coal jobs is to be a major goal of the national government, it is not going to happen with free-market policies,” he said. “Since he doesn’t show any signs of being a free-marketer, one will expect that he will at least try to subsidize coal. That’s what I expect him to do.”