Why United States Have No Renewable Energy Policy

Renewable energy

The United States has diverse sources of energy, from huge reserves of fossil fuels to substantial amount of renewable energy potentials like geothermal power and offshore wind. The United States was also a signatory to the Paris Accord on climate change which was committed to bringing down greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025 using 2005 level as a benchmark. This was up until March 28, 2017, when President Trump traveled to the Environmental Protection Agency to append his signature on an executive order that pulled U.S. out of the Paris agreement.

The actions of president Trump poses leaves many unanswered questions including whether the United States will meet the objectives and impose itself as a global leader in addressing the problem of climate change or will it abandon those commitments and expand energy production across the board in the name of energy independence?

The answer to the question depends on the energy and climate policy decisions the president adopts – and it is looking much like the latter. The signing of the executive order by President Trump rolled back some of the climate-related regulations that have taken effect eight years ago. According to the president’s team, the move was aimed at bringing the nation closer to energy independence as well as resuscitate the ailing coal industry which has suffered a steady decline over the past few decades.

The coal industry is declining.
The coal industry is declining as the world is seeking a cleaner source of energy.

The truth is that the coal industry cannot be resuscitated because the world is seeking a cleaner source of energy. The energy market is changing rapidly and President Trump needs to know that America and Americans need to follow the trend or risk being left behind. Countries like Britain, France, and China are already making plans to end the manufacture and sale of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Paris Climate COP21 Accord
Paris Climate COP21 Accord

The rolling back of the Trump administration from the Paris Accord is not only going to further deteriorate the country’s renewable energy policy but it will also harm the relationship between the United States and other countries in the International community. There is the danger of declining global view of America as a source of investment and innovation. America may also be on the verge of building an economy that will fail to compete globally in the rapidly growing clean-energy sector – tantamount to a self-inflicted wound.

If the job creation story by the Trump administration is to be taken seriously, statistics show that more jobs are opening up in the energy efficiency industry – twice more than what the coal industry could account for. In 2015, there were 65,971 jobs nationwide while the Department of Energy created 133,000 jobs in energy efficiency.

Obviously, the United States has no concrete renewable energy policy because it all depends on the person in power. As soon as they leave office, nothing can be guaranteed about the policies they left behind.
Clean energy policy, coal industry, Donald Trump, Paris Accord, Renewable energy, United States
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