Yesterday the Trump administration put out a press release titled “President Donald J. Trump Unleashes America’s Energy Potential”. In it, the release describes how Trump has done this:
- Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord
- Rescinding the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan
- Fast-tracking approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Ending the Obama Administration’s coal leasing moratorium on Federal land
- Rescinding the Obama Administration’s Stream Protection Rule
- Directing the Department of the Interior to reconsider the Obama Bureau of Land Management’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
Notice anything missing? The 771-word press release that describes how Trump is “achieving American energy dominance” has exactly zero references to renewable energy sources. It brags about how the energy sector employs 6.4 million Americans and how it is “a leading driver in hiring American workers”, adding 300,000 new jobs last year. It goes on and on about coal and gas and pipelines and drilling and mining.
However, despite the fossil fuel fetishism of the Trump administration, it is renewable energy that is driving the energy sector’s success. Consider:
- Nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber all fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to 1; and they exceed all jobs in coal and gas by 5 to 1
- 41 states and Washington, D.C. (80% of the total) have more clean energy jobs than fossil fuel jobs from all sources.
- Only six states have more jobs in coal and gas than clean energy
- Solar and wind jobs have grown at rates of about 20% annually in recent years and are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy.
- The solar and wind industries experienced the strongest growth, as solar jobs rose 25% over the past year and the wind sector expanded 32%. The energy efficiency industries also experienced an upswing in jobs, adding 133,000 jobs to reach 2.2 million total jobs.
In other words, the boom in energy sector jobs and economic output is being driven by the very sector that Trump is trying to kill at the expense of the fossil fuels industry. In other other words, he’s killing the energy goose that lays golden energy eggs.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club cuts to the chase:
Right now, clean energy jobs already overwhelm dirty fuels in nearly every state across America, and that growth is only going to continue as clean energy keeps getting more affordable and accessible by the day. These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires.
The fact is, rather than America “dominating” the world when it comes to energy production, we are literally ceding that dominance to other countries like China that are showing the true global leadership, all to promote dying, dirty energy sources that pollute our air, harm our environment, and are irreparably changing our global climate for the worse. Don’t forget that our Secretary of State is the former CEO of ExxonMobil and our Energy Secretary is Texan Rick Perry, a man who loves nothing more than Texas crude.
We have many things to thank Barack Obama for but his promotion of renewable energy is one of his most unsung accomplishments. Which is just one more reason Donald J. Trump is trying to kill it.