One of the greatest concerns with the Trump Administration remains the environment. I share those concerns. The United States is falling behind the rest of the world in advancing green industries and markets. A return to fossil energy could not only erase gains in the environment but push our workforce farther away from the most competitive economies. A new report shows how important solar energy is to the workforce and the economy. The latest report from the Department of Energy shows that solar energy in the United States employs more people than traditional coal, gas and oil combined. At the same time, we have seen other countries slash the cost of renewable energy and radically expand the use of such energy as global leaders in the new industry. Notably, a recent poll showed that two thirds of the public oppose the return to fossil fuels for energy as opposed to alternative fuels.
According to the government report, solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016. That accounted for 43 per cent of the sector’s workforce as compared to traditional fossil fuel employment of 187,117. That is just 22 per cent of the workforce.
The proposed return to fossil fuel production occurs at a time when the net generation from coal sources has declined by 53 per cent between 2006 and September 2016 and electricity generation from natural gas increased by 33 per cent. During that same period, solar power has increased by over 5,000 per cent in the same period.
Wind power stocks have already fallen after the election. Putting aside climate change concerns, the concern over the re-emphasis on fossil fuels could place the United States into a seriously diminished competitive position against our European allies. That will cost jobs, exports, and economic growth.