An analysis circulated Tuesday concludes that President Trump's sweeping push to bolster fossil fuels across the board by cutting regulations and production constraints means natural gas will likely keep and even expand its advantage over coal in electricity markets.
Why it matters: The presentation from the Brattle Group, an energy-focused consultancy, highlights a major tension running through Trump's pro-fossil fuel initiatives: Helping coal is tougher when you're supporting natural gas too.
What they examined: Brattle forecast the production and employment effect of pro-coal policies, like killing EPA's big power industry climate rule and rolling back mining regulations, in concert with the Trump administration's wider support of fossil fuels.
The bottom line: Their analysis predicts that the pro-coal efforts in isolation would indeed likely boost production of coal used for power generation and mining jobs, compared to what's expected under the baseline of Obama-era rules in the near-term (2020) and medium term (2030).
Yes, but: Combined with policies that affect oil-and-gas producers, like making more areas available for drilling and cutting royalties, Trump's overall approach (the "pro-fossil" case in the chart above) is actually forecast to be worse for coal than the Obama policy baseline.
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