Friday, September 9, 2016

Trump vs. Clinton: A Race Between Fossil Fuels and Green Energy

Hilary is much better than Trump here, it's just a shame about the rest of the garbage: The neoliberal, pro banker, war hawkishness.  Jill Stein is the best choice.

While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have substantial disagreements in most areas, when it comes to energy policy their views are so dramatically divergent that the election could be viewed as a mini-referendum on whether America will boost green energy or expand fossil fuels.
Each candidate could almost be considered a proxy for the energy industries they’re championing.
For example, Clinton has said that she wants to generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America, with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term.
The Democratic candidate has also called for the elimination of subsidies to the oil industry, increased R&D into green energy and for modernizing energy infrastructure.
In April, she told The Washington Post, “I don’t think I’ve changed my view on what we need to do to go from where we are, where the world is heavily dependent on coal and oil, but principally coal, to where we need to be, which is clean renewable energy.”
While Clinton is clearly opposed to fossil fuels, Trump is their chief defender. He wants to “revitalize coal,” and open up federal lands to oil and gas drilling.


hog said...

As Jill (and the green party in general) is anti-nuclear, she is a terrible choice.

While the government faces no financial constraints on investing in renewable energy, in the end, real resources do matter.

Bob said...

Obama was said to be in favor of green energy. Look how well how that turned out.

Ryan Harris said...

I think it worked pretty well in the US. Good policy from Bush and Obama. Hawaii had to slow new installations because it was dumping too much energy onto the grid, they used to burn oil almos exclusively, IIRC. Electricity markets everywhere can not deal with the large amounts of renewable energy being dumped intermittently. It's changing the power markets and driving innovation in transmission and storage. Even in States like Texas that don't have an ideological affinity for any one source of energy, leads the nation in wind power and will likely pass California within 5 or 6 years on solar too. The same is true for most states where wind and sun is also abundant, and even in places like western Oregon where there is rarely sun shining, we are getting solar installations that capture the few stray rays of sun that make it through the clouds, rain and dreariness.

Where Obama failed, I think, is not ensuring the government had an regional economic plan for the coal states. Now there will be political backlash in important states like Ohio. In MMT, we know the government is the primary driver of innovation, research, and industrial development so the Obama admin policy of "So Sorry", then "Get Another Degree" followed by Survival of the fitest for the displaced workers is just dumb policy.

Additionally allowing batteries that contain large amounts of toxic elements will come back to haunt. We've spent the last 50 years getting rid of toxic elements from all consumer goods. This was a huge, monumental mistake that will cost generations far more to clean up. And there are clean chemistries that are superior but university and industry patents prevented their adoption. The government could have bought the patents and then released the technology since it is central to the nations energy policy.

Even Apple is sitting on billions of old toxic devices trying to decide where to dump them. I don't think share holders of Apple, Samsung, Panasonic, Tesla really comprehend their liability yet.

Tom Hickey said...

I went to an alt energy exhibition in Iowa some time ago, not recently, before alt energy began taking off owing to tech developments and lower prices with scale.

I expected to find the green crowd predominant but it was most farmers. Iowa has abundant wind, and prior to WWII, there were a lot of windmills used to pump water, so wind energy is no stranger.

It's about both saving money and energy independence for them. But they are also concerned with climate, since it is a big issue in agriculture.

Pollution, not so much. The big pollutants in Iowa are pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Ignacio said...

"The government could have bought the patents and then released the technology since it is central to the nations energy policy."

The government could do something even better, getting rid of all the quasi-criminal IP and patents laws.