When Donald Trump announced on June 1st that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords, I was outraged, although not surprised. But I took heart a few days later, as state’s governors and city mayors, as corporations and energy companies stepped up to the plate and pledged to continue the fight against carbon emissions and other activities that are contributing to the destruction of Planet Earth. I was greatly encouraged to hear that despite Trump’s best efforts, solar and wind energy would continue to grow and eventually replace, to a large extent, coal. Today, I am back to being outraged. There are multiple reasons for this, but let us start with this one …
From the New York Times, 08 July 2017:
“Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate.
That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
… the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.
Utilities argue that rules allowing private solar customers to sell excess power back to the grid at the retail price — a practice known as net metering — can be unfair to homeowners who do not want or cannot afford their own solar installations.
Their effort has met with considerable success, dimming the prospects for renewable energy across the United States.”
In short, this amounts to punishment for those who are trying to do the right thing, to save the planet, while saving money. My friend Shafer, a resident of southern California, installed solar panels some years ago and has been rewarded by significantly lower energy bills, occasionally even having excess to sell back to the power company.
It is one thing for Trump to say he is withdrawing from the Paris Accords – that in itself is an abomination. But to remove past restrictions on the fossil fuel industries as he has, takes it to an even higher level of destruction. And now this … to penalize those who, despite hurdles thrown in their path by the government that should be supporting them, are nonetheless trying to do the right thing to save our planet … this is beyond unconscionable.
The saying “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die” has taken on new meaning in this, the world of the 21st century. This is how mankind has lived for too many decades, and now that he opens his eyes, sees the results of his debauchery, some are throwing their hands up and saying, “Party ON!”. Others of us are diligently trying to reverse the ravages of the past, but unfortunately the people in power are the ones doing the partying. The ones with the power AND money to work toward viable solutions are the very ones who are saying, “I’ve got mine … to hell with the rest of the world!”
Think about this. The average life span of a male in the United States is 78.94 years. Donald Trump is already 71 years of age. Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA is 49 years old. Rex Tillerson is 65 years old. Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is 70 years old. These are the men making the life-threatening decisions, but they will not be around to pay the price. They will “eat, drink and be merry” while never knowing or caring what devastation they have wrought on future generations. And they will eat and drink far better than the rest of us, for they are accumulating great wealth by pandering to the fossil fuel and other industries with their decisions.
The Times article continues …
“Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Maine and Indiana have decided to phase out net metering, crippling programs that spurred explosive growth in the rooftop solar market.
Many more states are considering new or higher fees on solar customers.”
So … in addition to ending the benefit of net metering, some states will further penalize environmentally-conscious people with higher rates and fees! This is comparable to, if lobbyists for the tobacco industry pushed hard, telling people who do not smoke that they will pay a monthly surcharge … for not smoking!!!
“The same group of investor-owned utilities is now poised to sway solar policy at the federal level. Brian McCormack, a former top executive at the Edison institute, is Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s chief of staff.
In April, Mr. Perry ordered an examination of how renewable energy may be hurting conventional sources like coal, oil and natural gas, a study that environmentalists worry could upend federal policies that have fostered the rapid spread of solar and wind power.
‘There’s no doubt these utilities are out to kill rooftop solar, and they’re succeeding,’ said David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, a renewable energy advocacy group. ‘They’re now driving the agenda.’”
Check out the entire article (link above), as I have re-printed only a small portion here. Trump has lost for us the respect of leaders and nations worldwide with his asinine decision on climate change. Passive decisions, saying “I will do nothing to work toward a solution to the problem”, are bad enough. But active decisions, saying “I will reverse the good that has been done, and I will endeavour to cause as much damage as I possibly can, even punishing those who are trying to do the right thing” are horrible and horrifying. To allow the wealthy to gain even more wealth by stepping on the backs of all others is beyond belief and cannot be allowed to continue. I would advocate for making Trump & Pruitt drink from the streams the coal companies are dumping their waste into, and breath the air from the exhaust of those coal-fired furnaces.