It has been a pretty busy time here for us at the GreenAge as we are beginning to soft launch our ‘Find a local installer’ map. In broader news, there is one story dominating: the election of Donald Trump.
President Trump and US energy policy
Lets start then with the fact Donald Trump won the election and is due to become the next president of the USA and the impact that may have on energy policy in the near future. Well, America is one of the big guns when it comes to energy policy because it produces about 15% of global CO2 emissions, with only China producing more.
Despite Obama pledging in 2009 to reduce CO2 emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020, in recent years emissions have been increasing as the US has been trying to recover from the recession. Having said that, it was clear that climate change was something that Obama was concerned with. In 2013 he released The President’s Climate Action Plan – this was 21 Page document outlining various actions to help combat climate change as well as an action plan to deal with its effects.
So what will the impact be of Trump taking office? I guess the place to start is with a now famous tweet that he wrote in in November 2012:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 6 November 2012
I think this sums up his general feelings pretty clearly – he doesn’t take the threat seriously at all. This is further reinforced by the fact that Trump has appointed Myron Ebell, a well-known climate change sceptic, to head up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition. Trump has already stated he wants to disassemble the EPA, which was put in place to safeguard clean water, air and land.
Ebell has spent years trying to deny or question the threat of climate change. In 2006, he wrote an opinion column for Forbes encouraging people to “love global warming”, suggesting they should embrace milder winters. In addition, he has suggested that the Americans would be wise to leave the Paris Agreement. At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first ever universal, legally-binding global climate deal. Both Ebell and Mr Trump think that America would be better off outside of this agreement.
Predictions for Trump’s time in office
So all is not looking good for climate change and energy policy in the US – and by extension the rest of the world-then! Two things that look very likely to happen when he gets into office are that the Keystone XL Pipeline will now get the green light. This is one thing that Obama resisted for his entire term as president. I think another thing we will likely see pretty quickly is the rise of coal again as a fuel source. During the election campaign, Mr Trump flirted with voters in Wyoming and West Virginia with regards to putting renewed focus on coal – and he will likely do this when he arrives at the Oval office.
We will of course keep you informed on whatever the presidency of a famous climate change-denier has in store…