The paragraph you refer to actually continues and makes a very important point:
“The Obama administration should have an interest in a thriving and viable domestic coal industry and perhaps consider a ‘Chinese-like’ coal import tax on foreign producers in tandem with the currently pursued policy of spurring a speedy transition to a higher percentage of renewables within the US energy mix. Remember, climate change requires global action and policies should not help other countries to free-ride and reap the benefits of a zero-sum game within the coal export market with severe domestic ramifications for employment in coal producing countries, which have literally chosen to ‘self-destruct’ their coal industry.”
With all due respect, it is nonsense to call one’s energy policy ‘all-of-the-above’ while blatantly attempting to punish one energy sector in particular. A reasonable ‘energy mix’ requires exactly what the word ‘mix’ means; namely, various options and not – in extremis – 100% renewable energy. This can work in small villages in Denmark but cannot be the blueprint for a highly industrialized country where additionally the ‘internet of things’ is about to take over almost every aspect of modern life.
Nonsense is to think of natural gas as ‘clean’ energy and a panacea. This is evidenced by many studies referenced on The EnergyCollective. Nevertheless, in the long term it obviously makes more sense to replace coal to a certain degree with natural gas if we sort out the issues with methane leaks/GHG emissions.
Finally, it is nonsensical to not understand that climate change can only be ‘solved’ with concerted global action in order to prevent any free-riding by nations such as India, China et alia because we share the same atmosphere. Therefore, it is indeed advisable to push renewables in the US. However, it is utter nonsense and borderline un-American to punish one domestic sector and thereby opening up business opportunities for foreign countries, on which we have decided to impose sanctions for various other reasons.
I have called in this article for not hurting ourselves while acknowledging that coal will remain responsible for at least 30% of power generation for decades to come and I have called explicitly not for ignoring climate change. Policies need to be reasonable and commonsensical to benefit the US and global climate at the same time.