Published on January 10th, 2021 |
by Jennifer Sensiba
January 10th, 2021 by Jennifer Sensiba
If 2021 were given to all of us on a 7-day trial, most of us wouldn’t have kept the subscription. Violence, political strife, and worse have given all but Trump’s most loyal supporters a bad taste in their mouths. I know he didn’t want to do anything good for clean energy, but thanks to his actions in his first and only term we now know that clean energy is a force to be reckoned with. Even a U.S. president’s efforts couldn’t kill it.
Let’s do a quick review of the ways Trump and other Republicans tried to stack the deck against renewables, electric vehicles, and other clean technologies, and look at why they failed.
2017-18: When Trump Had The Most Power
Donald Trump started his term with a “federal trifecta.” With his party in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House, it was a lot easier to pass bills into law without being stopped by Democratic Party opposition.
One of Trump’s first frustrations was an inability to quickly exit the Paris agreement on climate change. Prior negotiators already knew that a future conservative president would attempt to exit any climate agreements, so they built in a number of delay mechanisms to prevent a quick exit. Trump announced intent to exit the agreement in 2017, but was already bound to stay in the agreement until just after the most recent election.
Despite the exit, nothing has changed because companies, states, and a variety of other entities vowed to stay within the agreement no matter what the federal government did. In the end, individual liberty, the free market, and states’ rights kept the accord’s emissions reductions alive, and it’s likely to be put back into place by Biden.
Another way he tried to fight clean energy was by putting tariffs on cheap solar panels from China. In theory, this was an “America first” policy that would put American manufacturers on a better footing with Chinese competitors, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see that it was a favor to the fossil fuel industry, especially coal, and to utility companies.
Looking at solar installation numbers from the Solar Energy Industries Association, it’s obvious that he didn’t put a dent in solar installations. Consumer preference for energy independence, lower electric bills, and state/local mandates all kept solar installations humming along despite the tariffs.
Regarding solar, it’s also worth noting that he was unable to get votes together to end solar tax credits during this period.
CNN Business put together a pretty good list of his other failures during this period, and probably the…
Go to the news source: Trump Proved That Clean Energy Can’t Be Beat