Trump Administration Removes References to Climate Change at Whitehouse.Gov

At about noon on Friday January 20, immediately after Donald J. Trump took his oath and became President Trump, all references to climate change and renewable energy were removed from the whitehouse.gov URL: https://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change

In its place is the official Whitehouse.gov website for the new administration.  The energy link is here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/america-first-energy

The page sums up the new administration’s plans for energy: use as much fossil fuel as possible. “We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own.”

At the bottom of the page, there one sentence about responsible environmental stewardship and another that explains that President Trump will refocus the EPA on protecting air and water.

“Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”

None of this should come as a surprise to clean energy stakeholders other than, perhaps, the speed at which the turnover took place. Throughout his campaign Trump was clear that he was not in favor of clean energy regulations. His choice for Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry revealed in his confirmation hearing on January 19 that federal support for renewable energy will likely go away.

In a recent VIP Comment Michael Liebreich and Angus McCrone of Bloomberg Clean Energy Finance (BNEF) put the debate over climate change as one of the top 10 trends to watch for 2017.

What we are going to see now is opponents of climate action and defenders of fossil fuel interests, like an army finding its opening battle lines being overwhelmed, fall back on deeper lines of defence: challenging the evidence that a warmer climate will necessarily produce more storms, droughts higher sea levels and so on, promoting the benefits of higher CO2 levels on agricultural production, publicising reductions in excess winter deaths, and so on – in short arguing for a lower or even negative social cost of carbon.

While America may take a new direction on energy, globally countries intend to stay the course and continue to reduce carbon emissions. Clean Energy Wire recently noted in a News Digest, the following:

The EU must take over America’s role and keep China and India on board with global climate protection efforts to get ahead during Donald Trump’s presidency, according to environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH).  The EU is a global leader in renewables and efficiency, and should offer technological partnerships to China and India, DUH co-head Sascha Müller-Kraenner told Frankfurter Rundschau in an interview.

 

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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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