There is an old phrase: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” This may apply to this particular case. In a recent interview with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, Donald Trump went to task on global warming, clean coal and the economic competitiveness of clean energy. While Mr. Trump is an extremely savvy business man, I think he missed the point on clean energy and green jobs.
In the interview it was pointed out that ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar are pulling out of a climate partnership. This is touted as proof of the issues with climate change. I am not here to debate climate change, as this takes away from the point that is about to be made. Conoco and BP spend millions if not billions of dollars on clean energy research. Recently Conoco awarded a prize for an Eco-Auger, which could revolutionize electricity from water. BP has a large section devoted to creating and making solar panels. While these companies may be worried about the climate gate backlash, they are far from declaring that clean energy is not a worthwhile cause.
It was also pointed out that India and China are not in the same realm of environmentally cleanliness as the United States in that they don’t have the same pollution laws. This point is very silly; thank God we have laws that keep our air clean! The United States has a long history of conservation and environmental protection. This is meant to not only keep the rivers clean, it helps keep our lungs clean as well. It is no surprise that our life expectancy is far beyond China. While the cleaning of coal may be slightly more expensive, the cost outweighs the environmental danger.
Clean energy production and energy independence is a national security and business security concern. The United States imports millions of foreign oil to keep the economy rolling. One needs to look no further, when oil prices skyrocketed, our economy was crippled. Secondly as the price of electricity in this country continues to rise, businesses are being choked off. Google is in the process of trying to produce its own energy to run all of their networks. There is much to be learned from what they are trying accomplish.
A third and final point to discuss is the constant bashing of clean jobs. I am unsure of where this criticism is logical. Green jobs cover an enormous spectrum of fields and businesses. People working in a solar panel production plant have green jobs. People working on Clorox Green research have green jobs. Broad generalizations about a large swath of industries are not helpful nor productive, let alone true. Neither side of the political aisle should engage in such things. While there may be some legitimacy to the value and detraction of some green companies and positions, it does not have an overall effect on a larger green industry. There are a lot of moving parts, so people need keep an open dialogue to find a way to creating long lasting clean energy.