Trump already announced during his candidacy he’ll become the nation’s largest proponent of restoring coal mines back to normal operation. Now that he’s leading the free world, two cabinet members could team up with trump to drive renewable energy initiatives out of congress.That’s three billionaires who think renewable energy is nothing more than colossal eyesores, chalking them up as living junkyards. Under one political roof.
His cabinet picks speak volumes
Rex Tillerson, a Wichita Falls native who quarterbacked ExxonMobil for 10 years before retiring in 2016 and even became the 33rd president of the Boy Scouts of America, didn’t realize that burning fossil fuels had negative atmospheric implications until his confirmation hearing, although he’s trying to avoid answering ecology-related questions in a federal lawsuit. He’s slated to become the Secretary of State.
Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, has spent the better part of his career chastising Obama for EPA actions including unethical climate changes and reckless use of fossil fuels. Pruitt, an ally of fossil fuel initiatives, is slated to become the head of EPA – an agency he nearly hates.
Couple his pro-fossil and anti-regulation cabinet picks with an overwhelming demand for renewable energy funding, you’ll see why Americans should fear this trifecta train wreck. Sparring with Obama’s environmental and climate brainchild could leave many Americans holding the bag – in some regards.
Trump’s stance on renewable energy
Trump spoke off and on about renewable energy and fossil fuels during his campaign. While the Republican’s sweep scared stockholders into selling shares in these industries, Trump insists renewable energy isn’t lost (although once calling it ‘a hoax’). According to one Platt analysis, Clinton would’ve moved renewable resources along much quicker than Trump, yet incremental growth under Trump’s guidance is still possible – although not within his first several years, many suspect.
Trump could be bad. But how bad?
Trump will undoubtedly throw out most Obama renewable energy initiatives simply because that’s Trump. His stance on climate change and the investments needed to move solar and wind further along is nearly bipolar. However, since his victory, some statements have been reworded although not fully recanted.
He promises not to disregard the climate accord internationally agreed upon in 2015 in Paris. He promises to remain open-minded about climate changes that result from excessive fossil fuel burning. Not that he’ll keep every carbon reduction law intact, but he’ll plan something to keep environmentalists at bay.
Republican senators represent a good portion of wind and solar power-generating states. Trump could scare investors into bailing if Investment Tax Credits go away. With a GOP controlled house, however, many believe Trump will be more accommodating to renewable energy initiatives.
Trump vs. The Clean Power Plan
In an act of historic proportions, the Obama administration and EPA heads rolled out The Clean Power Plan, and initiative that helps power plants take measures to reduce carbon emissions. This flexible initiative will reduce America’s pollution problem significantly, although one major roadblock could capsize this hard-fought plan.
Despite many insisting standing EPA orders have limited repeal methods, an Executive Order could kill the Clean Power Plan under Trump’s administration. He stated during the tail end of his campaign that power regulations kill U.S. business interests, vowing to whack TCPP along with three other initiatives brought by EPA execs.
Take heed, however, that many of Clean Power Plan’s objectives have long been active in society. Reduction in carbon footprints had been realized well before Trump called to question EPA ethos. With utilities abandoning coal-based power resources for cleaner renewables, deregulating any EPA steps would be absent any meaning because carbon reduction is being chosen, not forced.
Is Renewable Energy ‘Irreversible’?
Many ecologically astute engineers, organizations, even Obama himself concur that the renewable energy revolution is unstoppable. It’s immediate atmospheric effect is undeniable. Not to mention power plants are slated to use 640 million short tons, a 38% decrease, for energy creation purposes.
Trump will undoubtedly attempt to revive coal initiatives many companies have long ditched for solar and wind renewables. If not by will, slashing tax credits doled out to companies who proactively use renewable resources could force Congress into listening to Trump’s ‘grand energy plan’.
Due to scarcity, coal is an expensive option that Trump wants to revive. Investments into coal initiatives are indicative to price and demand, so with many power plants opting for renewable energy sources over coal, many mines in Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois have ceased operation. Coal, in fact, is struggling in foreign countries like China – although not because of activism.
A Republican-packed agenda, spearheaded by Trump’s plans to upscale drilling and mining initiatives, could ease back renewable energy projects by EPA. Influencing the supply side of energy production by tossing the Clean Power Plan could be all Trump needs to reverse a renewable energy plan once touted as ‘the wave of tomorrow’s energy demands’.
America is ‘renewable energy negligent’, regardless of politics
In 2012, the United States generated thirty two million tons of plastic waste which accounted for nearly 13% of the country’s total garbage, as per the Environmental Protection Agency. This waste included close to 14 million tons of plastic containers and packaging, roughly 11 million tons of durable goods like household appliances, and almost 7 million tons of non-durable goods, such as cups, plates, and utensils.
These pollutants are often associated with higher energy rates, thanks to an outpouring need for equipment to remove these from landfills, roadsides, and so forth. Bipartisan support, however, could change how basic waste is discarded.
For those renewable energy proponents willing to barricade Trump’s new Pennsylvania Avenue address to state their case, consider this: solar energy and wind turbines will be manufactured regardless what any new administration says or does. Using these invaluable resources to produce energy could easily force power plants into involuntary bankruptcy. They could force the Republican-backed plan to reinvent coal mining to rethink their motives. But again, it all starts with standing up.
Trump will inevitably try to change climactic policy. Don’t wait for it to act accordingly.