I pride myself to be an academic research scientist. Which means that I get to read many articles both in print and online before I can make an informed decision or opinion.
It’s interesting and almost embarrassing for me to say that I only had to read two opinionated articles to make an almost firm conclusion that Mr. Trump will be elected as the next President of the United States. These articles are the Times Magazine Cover Story on Trump, and a blog article by Michael Moore.
The point of this article is not to debate the political circumstances which led to Mr. Trump’s win of his White House bid. What I would like to discuss is my I am concerned about the uncertainties related to the future growth of solar power technology and market in the United States.
Why am I concerned about a Trump Presidency as a solar-guy? Let me explain.
As a solar power enthusiast, I don’t claim to be an expert on United States politics, domestic policy or history; but we can all agree that being informed sets a precedent for better judgment. We can also agree that making an effort to understand scientific data is important specifically when it comes to developing domestic and international policy that will affect issues related to climate change and global warming.
The fact Mr. Trump is a climate denier—who once referred to climate change and global warming as a Chinese hoax—is very troubling.
The fact that he will lead one of the world’s largest economies and greenhouse gas producers—is scary. Making matter worse, he surrounds himself with more climate deniers especially when he tapped Myron Ebell, another climate denier, to head his EPA transition team.
Trump has made it clear that he will use executive action to rewrite or block regulations that the Obama administration worked tirelessly to pass. This refers to the Clean Power Plan that was put in place to ensure a reduction in US greenhouse gas emissions
His plan to downsize the EPA will also be in play as he once stated that “What they do is a disgrace,” referring to the EPA. We all know the EPA, among other responsibilities, policies regulations on various forms of pollution, including carbon emissions.
The most scary of them all is his plan to repeal all federal spending on clean energy. Specifically R&D for solar.
It’s no secret that the solar energy industry in the United States’s huge success has been catalyzed by either grants or solar subsidies from the federal government. Most of this aid has been forthcoming because in part by the progressive views from the Obama administration.
We should not also forget his promise to pull-out the United States from the converted Paris climate deal. This might not be an easy task, plus there is a clause in place to prevent that for at least the next four years; but Mr. Trump has proven he shouldn’t be underestimated.
There is nothing good here. Trump’s 2016 election win is complemented by the fact that Republicans now control the presidency, the Senate, and the House. Every one of the bodies needed to make and pass legislation.
On the verge of Trump’s big night, the stock markets took a huge dive including most solar stocks due to concerns from investors and fear of Mr. Trump’s unpredictability. The oil & gas companies in the S&P 500, however, closed up in stock market shares.
So what should we expect from a Trump Presidency?
Going by his campaign promises, and if Mr. Trump gets his way, there may be an increase in carbon emissions, a jump in oil production and in mountaintop removal coal mining in the United States. As for now, we can only hope he decides to take some advice from the current administration which he has promised when he met with President Obama as President Elect Trump.
During the campaign, it was abundantly clear that a core tenet of Mr. Trump’s business philosophy is sticking others with the cost of advancing his grand agenda, through bankruptcy or by stiffing contractors.
We can only hope that legal and political constraints on the president may provide some inhibition as he steps into this role. But then again, passing the forecastable disastrous Trump administration from an energy and climate policy perspective to future generations is morally indefensible.
You might have noticed that I have added a new tag “Trump“ to this article. This is because I will be following his moves as President very closely, so feel free to bookmark the page to keep up.