Unfortunately, our reality today looks quite different. On the evening of Election Day, we joined proponents of clean energy across the US in a collective state of shock. During the campaign, now President-elect Trump had dismissed global warming as a Chinese hoax and promised to radically change the direction of federal energy and environmental policy. It would obviously be disappointing if the Trump administration were to follow through on this approach.
However, there is no need to despair. The future of clean energy in the US remains bright and we continue to believe that there is substantial common ground on which to make progress.
We find that many of our policy proposals — designed to encourage the growth of the clean industry energy — are in fact well-aligned with the objectives outlined by the Trump campaign.
First, President-elect Trump has promised to be “the greatest jobs president.” If he is truly committed to this goal, the clean energy industry is a vital component for American job growth. The solar industry alone employs 140,000 more workers than the coal mining industry and is growing rapidly. President-elect Trump has specifically promised to help the nation’s coal workers and we couldn’t agree more. For instance, we proposed The Clean Jobs Transition Act to help new industries revitalize coal communities. We believe many more jobs can be created by stimulating investment in clean energy and technology than by propping up a fuel source that is no longer competitive in the market, regardless of environmental regulation.
Second, President-elect trump has promised to cut business regulations to help encourage growth, an area of alignment with more traditional Republican orthodoxy. While we disagree with many of the cuts to environmental regulations that Trump has threatened, there are elements of the energy markets that we think would benefit from a more open-market approach. One area of particular importance is data. Today the public, and therefore entrepreneurs, do not have access to grid data that is critical for improving the efficiency of electricity transmission and distribution. Pursuing an open-market approach to underlying grid data — making it transparent and accessible to a wider group of industry stakeholders — will help realize the promise of a modernized grid and provide a platform to create the Ubers, Amazons, or Googles of the energy industry.
Third, President-elect Trump has been a vocal supporter of increasing investment in US infrastructure, specifically calling out the need to repair and replace the country’s crumbling public roads, bridges, railways, and airports. However, the infrastructure of the 21st century is not just highways and bridges. It’s also wind farms and solar plants, energy storage facilities, and charging networks for electric vehicles. Upgrading the electric grid will make our energy system more efficient, more affordable, greener, and safer from terrorist attack. Investing in building the clean energy infrastructure, alongside proposed transportation upgrades, can help create millions of American jobs across the country.
Finally, President-elect Trump has called for tax cuts across the board. We agree that the tax code can be a powerful tool for encouraging business growth, if and when it’s targeted at specific desirable economic activity. With this rationale in mind, we proposed The Carbonless Gains Tax. Similar to the capital gains tax, we believe there’s great value in recognizing green activity and incentivizing green decisions by giving investors a small tax break.
To read the full article, visit World Positive.