President Donald Trump trumpets the promise of clean coal, but his war on regulations and elements within his administration could make it difficult to bring carbon-free coal into reality.
Trump is expected to sign executive orders to undermine Obama-era rules aimed at reining in climate change — rules that create incentives to invest in clean-coal projects. These projects also require substantial government support from an administration whose 2018 spending plan reportedly includes deep cuts to agency budgets.
The fate of clean coal may come down to which wing of the Trump administration prevails — the side willing to invest in rewarding coal country or the side intent on shrinking bureaucracy through underfunding, according to David Victor, co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at UC San Diego.
"That's going to be the key battle," he said.