Free-Market Forces Already Leading Transition To Alternative Energy
Climate change made the agenda for the final presidential debate. President-Elect Biden made one of the boldest political statements in presidential history with the announcement of a plan that would help transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels by 2050. Over four years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled major climate policies and rolled back several rules governing clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals.
During Trump’s presidency, the politics around climate change have shifted gears around the world. As most nations are divesting from fossil fuels and investing in alternative energy, Trump has talked about the virtues of clean coal and pipelines that threaten our air and water supplies.
Trump also talks about the virtues of capitalism and innovation, but he is stifling both by subsidizing the oil industry with billions of dollars every year. The oil industry was a massive beneficiary of the multi-trillion dollar coronavirus relief package in April 2020. We don’t know the extent of the bailout, because Trump also removed all transparency regarding the use of those funds. In other words, free-market capitalism is nowhere in sight when it comes to the oil industry. The good old boy system is keeping fraud, favoritism and fascism alive and well in this destructive industry (which has been covering up the science of climate change for decades). Suffice it to say that the free market is already leading the transition away from fossil fuels, but we have to create a level playing field by eliminating the $20 billion handout from government every year. Our government must stop subsidizing inefficiency, pollution, death and climate change.
If we eliminate these subsidies, the oil industry will not collapse.
There will always be a need for some of these petroleum products. Meanwhile, the shift to alternative energy is on track now. Companies such as Tesla, Nio, Nickola and even General Motors are banking on electric vehicles in the face of soaring consumer demand. The market for fossil fuels is changing. It’s time for government to get out of the way.
Although Trump frequently speaks of his desire for the United States to have “crystal-clean water,” he has called his predecessor’s signature clean-water regulation “horrible,” “destructive” and “one of the worst examples of federal” overreach.
He has streamlined permitting and production around numerous pipelines. He has stripped regulations that safeguard clean air and clean water. He has stood firmly behind fracking, even when done in close proximity to homes and schools. Even when it puts endangered species at greater risk.
The Trump administration removed environmental protections for streams, wetlands and groundwater to appease farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules restricted growth and profits.
President Trump vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation, which had frustrated rural landowners. His new policy is the latest step in a push to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws, loosening or eliminating rules on climate change, clean air, chemical pollution, coal mining, oil drilling and endangered species protections.
Most policy reforms have been implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks; removed protections from more than half the nation’s wetlands; and withdrawn the legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, the Interior Department is opening up more public land for oil and gas leasing by limiting wildlife protections and weakening environmental requirements for developers.
According to the Trump campaign, “America’s energy revolution has produced affordable, reliable energy for consumers along with stable, high-paying jobs for small businesses—all while dropping carbon emissions to their lowest level in 25 years. American energy policy must balance environmental protection with economic growth in order to encourage innovation, discovery, and prosperity.”
Trump says that Biden’s energy plan will destroy America.
He is certainly an expert on the subject, but his vision is fatally flawed. America and the world cannot afford to be dinosaurs. We can’t keep building a reckless world on fossil fuels, greed and favoritism. Trump has been leading this nation and our allies to slaughter.
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