President Trump doesn’t understand the environment, science, or the energy economy!

6 months ago Citizen#7 0

In a startling revelation Exxon Mobile released a statement this week urging President Trump to support the Paris Climate Agreement. Yes, read that again, Exxon Mobile agrees climate change is real, something President Trump doesn’t believe.

President Trump believes he is going to bring back coal mining jobs. Robert Murray the owner of Murray Energy the biggest independent coal mining company in the US urged Trump not to over promise the return of coal mining jobs. The reason for caution is in an article by VOX which stated three reasons coal jobs aren’t coming back.

1) mining is becoming increasingly automated, meaning fewer jobs per ton of coal produced;

2) a glut of cheap natural gas from fracking has cut into coal’s market share, leading to a sharp drop in US coal production since    2008;

3) various Obama-era environmental rules have made it more costly to operate coal plants, which has pushed many utilities to switch to natural gas or renewable energy sources.

President Trump has repealed former President Obama’s, Stream Protection Rule preventing coal mines from dumping waste into streams claiming it will bring back mining jobs stating this will bring back thousands of coal mining jobs. Outside analysis of the repeal found it would create 124 jobs not thousands.

There are about 50,000 coal mining jobs in the US today. The Coal Industry has lost 30,000 jobs since 2009. This is a small number compared to the renewable energy sector.

Here are the numbers for Renewable energy jobs in the US.

The Solar Foundation reports The Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar employment increased by over 51,000 workers, a 25 percent increase over 2015. Overall, the Solar Jobs Census found there were 260,077 solar workers in 2016. Solar industry employment has nearly tripled since the first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.

The solar industry supported $154 billion in economic output in 2016

To read more about an energy efficient economy please download-read How Does Energy Efficiency Creates Jobs

This doesn’t mean we should forget about the coal miners and their plight. It means that we need to take a hard look at things like; retraining, small business innovation, and more to help our fellow citizens transition from coal mining to other occupations. Something that didn’t happen here in the Northwest when the logging industry collapsed.

President Trump touted “Clean Coal” the problem is it doesn’t exist.  A company in Mississippi tried to build a Clean Coal Energy plant but failed after spending billions of dollars and getting caught up in scandals about leaking gaskets, missing reports, funding issues, etc., the plant is abandoned at this time. To date there is no “Clean Coal” energy producing facility in the US or the world. The cost of building a plant and sequestering the CO2 underground is at best an unproven strategy.

So if we were to score President Trump:

Wrong –

Climate change according to the majority of climate scientists and Exxon Mobile is real and Exxon is encouraging the President to adhere to the Paris Climate agreement.

Wrong –

President Trump is wrong about bringing back coal jobs according to Murray Energy the biggest independent coal mining company in the US. President Trump is wrong about the number of jobs repealing the Stream Protection Rule will create.

Wrong –

Trump’s focus on coal mining jobs is moving in the wrong direction. He should be focusing on retraining, small business startups, and more in those affected Coal producing states and regions.

Wrong –

Renewable Energy sources now employ far more people that Coal does and it provides a bigger impact on the economy and country as well as a more positive impact on the environment. President Trump is focusing on the wrong energy industries given the number of jobs and money generated by Renewable Energy Sources .

President Trump is just plain wrong – again!

 

Sources:
VOX article

The Solar Foundation