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Make America Green Again?

Make America Green Again?
November 10, 2020 Kai Frolic

Renewable energy in USA politics

The Trump administration has been infamously unhelpful when it comes to climate change and renewable energy – most notably marked by the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, announced in 2017. In addition, campaign slogans promoting coal and questionable statements[1,2], (which a less cautious author than this one might call outright, reckless, irresponsible lies) about wind energy. 

However, the Biden campaign has taken a very different tune on renewable energy, having announced plans to earmark two trillion dollars to be spent in the next for years on climate policy[3], with a longer-term view to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. As Vice President, Biden was part of an administration that in fact bolstered oil and gas, even lifting bans on crude exports. So, while it might seem inherently obvious that a changing of the guard in the White House would be good news for renewables, the changes could in fact be historic.

Immediate Action

When in office, President-elect Biden will face calls for action off the back of his pledges, including from Allstate Corp, one of the USA’s largest property and casualty insurers. Their CEO is calling[4] on the Democrats to write legislation to tackle the destruction of property by natural disasters.

Wildfires and hurricanes in the USA are causing massive losses for insurance companies and private insurance for natural disasters could easily become unaffordable.

The question of how fast such legislation would move is also key, as Allstate’s CEO points out (reported by Reuters): “People spend a lot of time arguing about the long term solution when a house is burning down.”

Promises, Promises

Now that Biden has been successful, it remains to be seen how the advertised strategy is implemented, and how quickly. It may be difficult to get some of the ambitious climate policies through congress, particularly as the Republicans have hold of the Senate.

There can be no doubt the climate policies in the U.S are undoubtedly going to change over the next four years.

About Pager Power

Pager Power undertakes technical assessments for developers of renewable energy projects and tall buildings. For more information about what we do, please get in touch.

References

[1] Luscombe, R (2019), ‘I never Understood wind’: Trump goes on bizarre tirade against wind turbines (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/23/trump-bizarre-tirade-windmills), The Guardian, last accessed November 2020.
[2]Burke, M (2019), Trump claims wind turbine ‘noise causes cancer’ (https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/437096-trump-claims-noise-from-windmills-causes-cancer), The Hill.
[3] Brower, D (2020), Biden gambles on placing climate change at heart of US energy politics (https://www.ft.com/content/2ac477e7-34a4-4c0e-b9f4-018cef47d67d), Financial Times.
[4]Barlyn, S, (2020), Allstate Corp CEO eyes climate insurance plan under potential Biden win (https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-allstate-biden-climate/allstate-corp-ceo-eyes-climate-insurance-plan-under-potential-biden-win-idUKKBN27L0I4), Reuters.

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