Barely a month after his inauguration, President Trump is proceeding with plans to dismantle protections under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. The targets include limiting pollution into streams and wetlands that flow into drinking water for a hundred million Americans, automobile fuel economy standards that cut tailpipe pollution, and performance standards under the Clean Power Plan that would boost renewable power and fight climate change. Trump and his EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, have drawn up reckless plans to slash EPA’s budget—greeted with derision even by some Republicans in Congress. With the tragic story of Flint still fresh in people’s minds, the President is betraying the demands of his own supporters — fully 64% of Trump voters want to maintain or increase spending on environmental protection.
These actions are a tragic wrong turn for the country — and not just because they threaten to roll back decades of progress on air and water pollution, and the recent steps forward on climate change.
What I especially worry about are the lost opportunities for economic growth, new jobs, and the competitiveness of American companies — at a time when China and others are stepping up.
Last Friday, students at UC Berkeley hosted their 8th annual Energy Summit about the future of federal energy policy under the Trump Administration. It was refreshing to hear a respectful discussion — participants from people from private industry, non-profits and business exploring serious solutions — and listening with respect to all sides — including a conservative Trump supporter on a panel with me.
There was a remarkable amount of agreement — which is very surprising in these divisive times. But we should not be surprised: When we get together we can find a lot of common ground. The reality is that most Americans want clean energy and the freedom and prosperity that comes with it. Yes, there is controversy about the future of coal — but there is consensus in our country about the future for clean energy. Read More
A big part of President Trump’s agenda involves rolling back critical environmental protections. And yet, the issue that most people think won him the 2016 election is the economy.
From coast to coast – and especially places in between – jobs were the most pressing concern for American voters. So Trump has promised he will create 25 million new ones over the next decade by, among other things, reviving America’s declining coal industry.
“We’re gonna put the miners back to work,” he told a roaring crowd in West Virginia last year.
But for all the bluster about bringing coal production back to life, Trump is not just ignoring market realities – he’s also overlooking the biggest economic opportunity since the computer revolution. Read More
Earlier this month, the United States announced a major step forward in addressing air quality concerns and climate change threats to Latinos. I’m talking about the Clean Power Plan, which establishes the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from powerplants and places us on a path to heed Pope Francis’s call to protect our planet.
Unfortunately, critics began attacking the plan even before it was final. Some of these attacks have targeted the Latino community in particular, arguing that the Clean Power Plan will disproportionately and negatively harm Latinos. These are baseless claims and arguments that have been debunked by experts.
When the Clean Power Plan takes full effect, Latinos will be among the many Americans who will share in the benefits of a cleaner, healthier future that also affords us good jobs and energy savings. Read More
(This post first appeared on EDF voices)
Source: Thomas Hawk/Flickr
I love California in the summertime, and Fourth of July weekend is one of my favorite holidays. But it is getting excruciatingly HOT out here, and according to the best science, it is going to get much hotter.
This past weekend the West Coast broke nearly every temperature record on the books, well ahead of August and September, which are usually the hottest months of the year.
And last year was the hottest year on record for the continental United States. Crops were devastated, cities were hit by supercharged storms, and people, mostly the poor, suffered and died amid some of the most destructive extreme weather events in our history. All told, the United States spent more than $110 Billion on weather related disasters in 2012.
There’s more bad news ahead. Extreme heat projections for the U.S. in 2030, based on research from Stanford University, shows that the West and Southwest are going to get really, really hot! Read More
(Excerpt from original post on Fox News Latino on 9/13/12)
Economy and jobs are the top issue on Latino voters' minds, according to the 2012 “Latino Decisions Poll,” a theme that will be featured prominently in this week’s Hispanic Heritage events in DC.
It's all the more reason to discuss a powerful engine of opportunity in this country called the clean “green” economy – it is here, it is real, and it is one of the few bright spots in an economy desperate for a comeback.
In 2010, I wrote “Green Can Grow Latino Business,” arguing that the clean economy will create new demand for goods and services, new supply chains and niche markets, and opportunities to create new business models and reinvent old ones. Read More