Energy Current: Clean Energy and the Presidential Election

Friday, October 21, 2016

By Erika Schneider, Director of Communications

Following the first of the Presidential Debates on September  26, Karen Wynne of WLOS’s news team visited Sundance as part of their story ” Green jobs, clean energy in the spotlight after debate.”  Kudos to their team for digging a bit deeper into the critical energy issues our nation faces, and their environmental and economic impacts on our future. Now that the debates have all been held, we’ve heard very little more of substance regarding the  Candidates’ plans for energy policy and addressing climate change.  With early voting open election day soon upon us and , we would like encourage everyone to deeply consider the energy platforms of Clinton and Trump, as the outcome is critical to a clean energy future.

In a press release entitled “An America First Energy Plan” Donald Trump  laid out his “100-day action plan” which included the following bullets:

  • We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.
  • I’m going to ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.
  • We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas
  • We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.
  • We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.
  • Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped. We will also eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.
  • Any future regulation will go through a simple test: is this regulation good for the American worker? If it doesn’t pass this test, the rule will not be approved.

As you can see, these actions seem to favor fossil fuel industries, and in a fact check following the first debate, CNN states that Trump’s plan projects a loss of -4,000,000 jobs in the clean energy economy. On the other hand,  Hillary Clinton’s job plan, which focuses on the clean energy economy, projects +200,000 jobs gain.

Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power is clearly planned out in a Fact Sheet on her website,  and  includes “two bold national goals that she will set as president to combat climate change, create jobs, protect the health of American families and communities, and make the United States the world’s clean energy superpower:”

  1. The United States will have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term.
  2. The United States will generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within ten years of Hillary Clinton taking office.

The vision includes the foundation for a comprehensive energy and climate agenda that she will lay out over the coming months

Clearly our energy future will be significantly impacted by the outcome of this election.  May the American public take these issues seriously, do the homework, and vote wisely.

* If you missed the WLOS story, including Dave Hollister’s comments on the impacts on the solar industry , you can link to it here.