After reading the July 9 "In Response" column, "Trump-supported burning of more coal only exacerbating warming," I felt a need to submit a rebuttal.
First, the column stated that the Department of Energy was attempting to bypass free markets by creating a resiliency payment for coal plants for having a month or more of fuel on site. The fact of the matter is that the federal government has for years given renewable energy producers a production tax credit, or PTC, that is after tax. The PTC plus tax benefit amounts to more than $30 per megawatt hour from federal taxpayers - which is more than the cost per milliwatt hour of the vast majority of coal plants. Thus, it is coal that is not competing in a free market. Give this same subsidy to coal and there will not be another wind farm built. The PTC is once again scheduled to phase out. If it does, renewable energy is not competitive in the free market nor is it reliable like coal. Accusations of corporate cronyism for coal companies is thus hypocritical.
Second, the column stated that people should get dividend checks from a carbon tax. These dividend checks would not come from a money tree, however. Instead, the dividend would be paid by companies (utilities, manufacturers, transportation, etc.) which would have to raise their prices correspondingly - plus raise their prices to fund the massive administrative body that would collect and distribute the dividends. Citizens would end up net losers from a carbon-tax scheme.
Third, the column stated that global warming is causing massive cold snaps. I don't think I need to expand on that comment.
Bottom line: the United States is best served by a mix of generation resources (for grid resiliency), all of which must be cost competitive or go out of business.