Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Repeal of the Clean Power Plan/Health care changes

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Oct 12, 2017 8:00 PM



On the Friday October 13th, 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt announced on Tuesday that the agency will roll back the Clean Power Plan - the Obama administration's policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power plants.  The plan emphasized the use of natural gas and renewable energy sources over coal-powered generation plants.

Critics of the plan said it unfairly targeted the coal industry and that implementation of the policy represented unconstitutional overreach by the Obama White House.   The Heritage Foundation predicted the plan would result in a loss of 300,000 jobs annually and eliminate $2.5 trillion from the GDP.

Supporters of the Clean Power Plan point to carbon admissions as a primary catalyst for climate change and that the plan would help to slow down years of man-made environmental damage.  They point to job growth as a result of wind and solar energy development.

Donald Trump has complained the CPP has led to a decline in employment in the coal industry; claims of up to 125,000 lost coal jobs have alternately been attributed to the plan and a shift to inexpensive natural gas as an energy source and an increase in automated mining.  The industry has seen a drop of employment by 60% since 1980 and many experts say those jobs aren't coming back, regardless of energy policy.

John Quigley is a former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; he currently serves as the head of the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology's Center for Environment, Energy and Economy.  Quigley isn't happy about the repeal, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "It is bad public health policy and the way it is being contrived is even more troubling."

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John Quigley - Director, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology's Center for Environment, Energy and Economy

On the Friday edition of WITF's Smart Talk, we'll speak with Quigley about the impact the repeal of the Clean Power Plan will have on Pennsylvania.  We'll also speak with Brendan Collins, a lawyer dealing with environmental issues with the firm, Ballard Spahr.  Collins specializes in energy generation permitting and regulation, litigating on behalf of both conventional and renewable energy suppliers.

Also, President Trump signed an Executive Order Thursday that would offer less expensive insurance to Americans that doesn't cover as many medical conditions or procedures.  However, critics say it will mean higher premiums for those who use their insurance more and doesn't require coverage of pre-existing conditions.  Also, the Trump Administration said late Thursday night it would end the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reduction payments designed to help low-income Americans get health care.

Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, appears on Friday's Smart Talk to explain how the state would be impacted.


on clean power plan: 

- Please ask your guest why the state did not renew the support for solar with some paybacks. We would go with solar in a heartbeat, if it became closer to the cost of fossil fuels. We replaced our roof a couple of years ago with a metal roof and it's is perfect for attaching solar panels.                                                                  - Pat, Waynesboro

on ACA rollback:

- Can your guest predict what income levels receive the subsidies being terminated? For instance, "every family of 4 below X dollars of income will lose."   - Wendell

- Call it a "hinge of history." When Ronald Reagan took office, one of the first things he did was to take the solar panels off the roof of the White House that were installed by Jimmy Carter.                        - Pat, Waynesboro

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