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Sunday, February 25, 2018


Future of renewable energy remains uncertain under Trump

Trump opposes the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan. | File Photo/The Cougar

The future of clean and renewable energy remains uncertain with Donald Trump now in office.

Prior to his election, Trump said that climate change is a hoax and said that he would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. UH Energy Fellow and assistant professor in Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Glacial Processes Julia Wellner believes that his impact would be impossible to predict.

“The new administration is so frighteningly erratic, it is hard to predict much of anything about what they might do next other than continue to create chaos,” Wellner said. “With that said, one of the things that is nearly certain is that the petroleum industry will fare well under this administration.”

Prior to his presidency, the EPA had just finalized new standards to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. According to the EPA, these new standards would have reduced 510,000 short tons of methane by 2025.

“In terms of burning oil and gas, US emissions rates for a panoply of parameters is at it lowest rate in over a decade mostly because of the use of more natural gas in the power generation sector,” said Michael Krancer, a member of the UH Energy Advisory Board.

In abolishing the EPA, Trump would also abandon their Clean Power Plan.

In an article he wrote for Forbes, Krancer said that Trump’s choice of Scott Pruitt, who has been referred to as a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, as head of the EPA is a good choice and that it opens up a discussion about environmental policy.  

In his article, Krancer said that Pruitt opposes the CPP for going beyond what he believes is EPA’s authority and the Paris Agreement costing too much money.

UH Energy Fellow and Construction Management lecturer Earl Ritchie said in a recent article that the impact of the CPP on renewables would be relatively small.

The CPP is not the only way for renewable energy to grow, Ritchie points out, and that subsidies have a big impact. The two biggest federal subsidies are the Investment Tax Credit and the Production Tax Credit.  

Trump has not directly threatened these credits, and both of these credits are favored by Republicans in states that benefit from these credits. This makes the future of renewable energy growth very uncertain during Trump’s tenure.

“It looks virtually certain that renewables growth will continue, but at a much-reduced pace,” Ritchie said.

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  • Muhammed Bin Zayed Jones

    The Market … NOT Progressive “Crony Capitalist Government” … should be the deciding factor as to the acceptance or denial of renewable energy.

    If renewable energies can stand on their own and compete with current sources without government subsidizes, then so be it. Heck, I’d consider switching myself, but I won’t pay more for renewable energy than our current sources.

    • ReasonReignsSupreme

      Facts: Global Warming is Real.
      Fossil Fuels contribute to the climate getting warmer.
      Renewable Energy is the only way to alleviate this.

      Conclusion: An inhabitable planet is more important then the silly little green paper in your bank account. Subsidize the renewable energy to help the planet remain livable for human beings.

      • Mohammed bin Zayed Jones


        Besides the useless models used … Global Warming is a hoax. Show me palpable evidence besides man-made models. The models that do not address precipitation or volcanism, nor the Earth’s ability to heal itself.

        And RRS, can you please explain to me how man was responsible for the Global Warming to end the last Ice Age? I’m still trying to find out how man got all those SUV’s back there in time to end the ice age.

        So if you can help me out with that question RRS? I would be most appreciative.

        I’m also reminded of the The Medieval Warm Period, a time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region. The MWP lasted from about 950 to 1250, and guess what, areas of northern Europe thrived in the growing of bumper crops.

        The World didn’t end then, and it won’t now.

        Your thoughts on renewable energy are laughable. To even get to the point of making enough energy to provide for our current needs, you would have to cover I don’t know how many states completely with solar panels. The last time I checked it was seven smaller states, but now it could be the entire East Coast now.

        RRS, you’ve given me nothing but talking points, and I doubt you have real trouble formulating original thoughts. Thoughts that are not derived from Progressive Talking Points.

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