December 19, 2016 Djuan Coleon

Will “Climate Change” Under President Donald Trump?

President Obama spent 8 years trying to lead the world in reducing it’s carbon footprint. Will President Elect Donald Trump even acknowledge there is such a thing as Climate Change? How will Trump’s appointments at the EPA and the Department affect the direction of the country on the environment?

House Republicans shut down investigation into Flint water crisis, blame EPA instead , the ongoing blame game in Flint has ended with the musical chairs stopping at the EPA. The Republicans have not always been on the right side of the Climate Change debate but in the case of Flint, I believe the EPA dropped the ball. The EPA under President Obama was aggressive to override the states when it came to enforcing the Clean Power Plan mandates and cutting back carbon pollution from coal plants. There has been a strong push to make solar, the preferred energy choice of the future. Now when it came to keeping our water supply clean like our air, the EPA in places like Flint did not take the same aggressive action to make states like Michigan in Flint more compliant. The EPA could have done a better job to enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974). So on one hand environmentalist fear a Trump presidency but Flint and the Standing Rock Pipeline protests happened under President Obama’s watch. President Obama nor the EPA did much of anything to stop the pollution from Oil companies the last 8 years.  Now the real concern for the environmental is a policy moving forward is will Trump reverse President Obama’s overall renewable energy stance. Under President Trump energy independence is not found under renewables but fossil fuels.

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“I think that the environmental movement has been proclaiming doom right around the corner since it was founded in the late 1960s,” he said. “It’s how they fund the environmental movement. It’s how they attract political support, by saying we have this crisis. We’ve had one crisis after another. Many of them were real problems, but not crises.” – Myron Ebell (Donald Trump Transition head EPA) 

The Sierra Club has vowed to dig in and fight even harder for a pro-climate change agenda in Washington.

“When it comes to the remaining Cabinet positions, including Secretary of Energy, Secretary of the Interior, and Secretary of State, we urge Donald Trump to quickly realize the errors of his ways and nominates people who are truly fit for the job, those who accept climate science, and to protect our public lands, air, water and climate.” – Melinda Pierce (“Trump’s Cabinet of Fossil Fuels”)

President Elect Donald Trump met with former Vice President Al Gore and there is some optimism that President Trump would be open to consider the realities of Climate Change.  Both sides of this energy debate are mobilizing and drawing lines in the sand. I believe the next four years will be very contentious on Climate Change and the environment.  Forty-eight U.S. Mayors have signed an open letter to President Elect Donald Trump urging him to keep President Obama’s mandates.

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“While we are prepared to forge ahead even in the absence of federal support, we know that if we stand united on this issue, we can make change that will resonate for generations,” they wrote. “We have no choice and no room to doubt our resolve. The time for bold leadership and action is now. There is absolutely a sense of urgency about our cities and our world today,” he said. “Cities bear the brunt of climate change, and cities produce the biggest part of the emissions in the world. So this will be up to cities to solve.” – Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles

IS THERE MIDDLE GROUND?
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Nuclear power is considered a clean energy source and they’re four new nuclear plants under construction in the United States. Nuclear power creates over 60% of all emission free electricity in America.  If the energy debate is truly about clean energy options and not just business interests, should not nuclear be a viable option?

“Congress, states, federal agencies and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should work more closely with utilities to maintain our existing reactors when it is safe to do so and build more reactors, because without nuclear power, it’ll be much harder to reduce carbon emissions,” – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn (article Economic, environmental bliss hinge on nuclear energy)

 

Can policy makers, utilities and environmental groups come together and do what’s right for the people in the community? Can a realistic energy options between reducing our carbon footprint and what is affordable to every stakeholder in the community be agreed upon in 2017? Well I suspect a greater divide between the sides and more environmental protests in 2017 before we come together on the future of energy in this country.

 

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