Monday, August 27, 2018

The Trump Administration's Policy of Energy Inefficiency

The ruling US administration has purged government support for energy efficiency and replaced it with what can only be called an inefficiency policy. The Trump administration and the GOP have systematically eradicated energy efficiency programs ranging from appliances to vehicles and utilities. Earlier this month they announced that they are replacing Obama's Clean Power Plan and killing Obama's higher vehicle mileage standards. This administration has also ended a decades-old energy conservation policy that dates back to the 1970s. In July the administration quietly released a memo that declared conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative.

Energy efficiency is the last bastion of the green economy to come under attack from the pessimal presidency of Donald Trump and his Republican minions. This government is not content to simply withdraw their support they seem hellbent on using their authority to crush the idea of energy efficiency altogether. They have targeted government agencies, departments, policies and programs that benefit our environment and our climate. They have also adopted other measures that have made the situation worse.

Trump is not only intent on ending government support for renewables he is actively encouraging increased consumption of dirty sources of energy. Trump champions fossil fuels while opposing renewable energy to benefit his friends in industry and to pander to his climate-denying-coal-rolling-base. The US is the world's biggest economy, and the largest consumer of energy on the planet, so what the president does has grave global consequences.

No matter what the spin machine running Washington says the truth is the election of 2016 has been nightmare. From pollution to health care, and tax reform the American people are being defrauded by their own government. The malfeasance of this administration and the GOP will go down in infamy.

We need governments to incentivize the green economy, we also need them to regulate. At the very least we need them to stay out of the way of state initiatives. This hope was dashed when the Trump administration announced that it would not grant California a waver to allow the state to set its own mileage standards.

The Trump administration has systematically purged a raft of energy efficiency programs. In addition to killing efficiency measures for utilities and vehicles they have also made appliances less efficient by deferring action on five appliance efficiency standards and moving to repeal another three. This makes American manufacturers less competitive and it forces consumers to absorb the higher costs of operating these appliances.

Up until the election of Trump the US had made great strides in improving their energy intensity (energy use per unit of gross domestic product). The Trump regime has impeded the growth of sustainability and although the courts have checked some of the more reckless behavior coming out of the White House, they cannot stop the wrecking ball that is this administration.

The world may be investing in the green economy but Trump's 2018 budget made it clear that he wants to erode environmental protections and kill climate action. Almost everyone accepts that energy efficiency offers multiple benefits, everyone it seems except those who currently rule Washington.

Business Needs Government to Incentivize Efficiency and the Green Economy
Obama Era Energy Efficiency Standards Would Have Prevented 3 Gigatons of GHGs by 2030
Ten Schools Leveraging Energy Efficiency to Save Money
IKEA is a Corporate Leader in Renewables and Efficiency
Video - The Value of Energy Efficiency
The Case for Green Building
Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy and Efficiency (IEA)
US Energy Efficiency - Success Stories and Barriers
Predictions for US Energy Efficiency - Growth and Obstacles
Sustainable Cities: Business Opportunities from Resource Efficiency
Investing in Energy Efficiency

1 comment:

neil heesterman said...

It is amazing that the republicans proposed a $ 40 per tonne carbon tax and now have bill 6463 for a revenue neutral tax at $24 per tonne and border tax adjustments. The $40 tax (points 1-7 post 30 was according to their secretary of state Rex Tillerton a great solution to avoid a hodgepod of regulations. 68 % of Americans favor a carbon tax like we have in BC. Trumps utterings are completely out of line