So. IL Coal's reaction to the Paris Accord

IL coal mining affected by Paris Accord withdrawl
Updated: Jun. 5, 2017 at 5:33 PM CDT
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Last week, President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.

President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord is a good thing for the Southern Illinois coal industry, according the President of the Illinois Coal Association, Phil Gonet.

"First of all, we believe this is good news for the coal industry. And it is consistent with President Trumps action to date," Gonet explained.

He sees this decision as an economic one.

"I think that there's a reasonable chance that we will see a slight uptick in production in IL for the foreseeable future because of this," Gonet said. "I think we finally have is a president who understands the business side of the equation. It's a cost benefit analysis and the cost are simply dwarfed what the benefits are. It doesn't make sense."

On the other hand, Aur Beck, owner of a local solar company, said it does make sense.

He said, "More jobs in renewable energy now, specifically solar, than coal, gas and oil combined."

Beck said he does not see the Paris Accord affecting his business.

"I do know that it won't affect renewable energy, so that's all I'm excited about," Beck said. "Renewable energy is here to stay…Nobody can stop the growth of the renewable energy industry. It's all about money, it's all about doing things efficiently. And unfortunately the coal industry is going bankrupt because they can't keep up with the industry."

Gonet concluded, "We are for an all the above energy strategy, there is clean coal. Like I mentioned, there are 70% less than they were 30 year ago."

Despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from an international pact, a number of prestigious universities like Harvard and Yale said they're committed to fight climate change.

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