Thursday, July 27, 2017

Want to Create Jobs in the Energy Sector? Just Stop Listening to Mr.Trump

by Nomad

Elimination of the Rules

Back in January, when Trump was fresh and full of spunk, he told Americans that he would be the "greatest job producer God has ever created." 
A couple of months later, when Trump was no longer so fresh and cared more about his golf time, he signed an executive decree calling on every federal agency to loosen the regulatory reins on fossil fuel industries.
Trump directed all departments to identify and target for elimination any rules that restrict U.S. production of energy, and he set guidance to make it more difficult to put future regulations in place on the coal, oil and natural gas industries.
Surrounded by burly coal miners, President Trump said.
"This is the start of a new era in American energy production and job creation. We will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow workers and companies to play on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, a long time."
In the name of making America great again, Trump has pulled out all stops domestically to handicap the growth of alternative energy and promoted the continuation of a carbon-dominated economy.

Disaster for the US and the World

Environmentalists were stunned speechless. Years of progress were tossed out with the trash in the hopeless support of non-renewable fossil fuels. Trump's only real justification- at least, the one that didn't involve corporation campaign donations- was that coal and oil would great jobs and boost the economy.

Even the Pope was grieved by Trump's policy. A senior Vatican official told Reuters that Trump was taking the US “back to the past” by withdrawing from the Paris Agreement on climate change. His efforts to revitalize the coal industry, the Vatican said, were misguided at best. Energy was increasingly being produced by renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
Bishop Sanchez Sorondo called the decision “a disaster for this country (the United States) and also for all the world”.

Strict free-marketeers were also concerned by Trump's promises to restore job lost in coal mining. And he made claims, such as a promise to restore jobs lost in coal mining, that essentially defy free-market forces.

Allowing the prices of goods and service to be determined by forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority were once bedrock principles of the Republican Party.

What it represents is not some ideological shift but the wholesale corruption of the Grand Old Party. According to information provided by, the oil and gas industry regularly pumps the vast majority of its campaign contributions into Republican coffers.

Guess which campaign contributor forked over the most? None other than the Koch Brothers. In fact, Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the U.S., gave nearly twice as much as any other oil corporation and all of it to Republicans.
Trump successfully depicted this as a story about weary miners losing their means of earning a wage but the truth is it is all about big oil. 

But there's another problem. Trump's support for fossil fuels might make some already wealthy people very rich but it is not going to provide jobs to unemployed Americans.

Where the Jobs Actually Are

According to a report from the U.S.-based nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), jobs in solar power are currently growing at about 20 percent annually, a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

Not only that, jobs in wind power are growing at roughly the same rate. It is doubtful that Trump is aware that wind-turbine technician is now the fastest-growing profession in the country overall.

The report also noted that these jobs were well-paying local opportunities. Unlike fossil fuel industries, the benefits of renewable energy are not limited to one region. Workers in all states across the country have access to some type of clean energy or sustainability job opportunity.

The report explains:
Many jobs in the solar and energy efficiency space are in installation, maintenance and construction, making them inherently local and contributing to the growth of local economies. Average wages for energy efficiency jobs are almost $5,000 above the national median, and wages for solar workers are above the national median of $17.04 per hour.
EDF Climate Corps director Liz Delaney pointed out:
"Most renewable and energy-efficiency jobs can be found in small businesses, requiring on-site installation, maintenance and construction, making them local by nature. And many pay higher than average wages. For example, energy-efficiency jobs pay almost $5,000 above the national median, providing rewarding employment options to all Americans — even those without college or advanced degrees."
That's exactly the demographic that needs help the most. Unfortunately, people in that same category were more likely to vote for the man who will lead them in the wrong direction when it comes to jobs.

Trump's Dead End Path

For the time being, most of US energy is still derived from fossil fuels. However, renewable sources — especially wind and solar power — are rapidly closing the gap. The EDF reports that renewable sources now represent the largest share of all new electricity-generation capacity installed in the U.S.
Furthermore, as one source states:
They're also becoming more affordable, with production costs of photovoltaic solar panels dropping 72 percent from 2010 to 2015, helping U.S. solar deployment grow by a factor of 10 in just five years. The country is also seeing significant yearly growth in wind power, which has more than doubled its total capacity to 74 gigawatts since 2009.
In other words, renewable energy is where the future lays. And that's important for long-term job security. Employment in fossil fuel industry will in permanent decline, regardless of what Trump believes.

The normally conservative business journal, The Financial Times, created a stir in May when it published an article entitled "The Big Green Bang: How Renewable Energy Became Unstoppable." The crux of the piece was that evidence is mounting that fossil fuels are on the way out.
Wind and solar parks are being built at unprecedented rates, threatening the business models of established power companies. Electric cars that were hard to even buy eight years ago are selling at an exponential rate, in the process driving down the price of batteries that hold the key to unleashing new levels of green growth.
Any attempt to prevent the demise of non-renewables will end in failure.
When it comes to employment, Donald Trump is not leading the country into the future but down a dead end path to the past.