As we enter the seventh month of the Trump presidency, it’s becoming clear that the president and his cabinet are not interested in supporting the 3 million Americans who work in the clean energy economy or the renewable and energy efficiency sectors that are driving the clean energy jobs boom.
We have seen this administration repeatedly take actions that tear at the progress that has been made over the past several years. The shoes continue to drop as the Trump administration announced it would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and began the process of unwinding the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, among many other controversial actions.
The Clean Power Plan was created by a federal rulemaking and can be unwound through the administration with little to no oversight by Congress – although President Trump will have a hard fight from NRDC and other groups in the courts before that happens.
The Paris Climate Agreement was negotiated between President Obama and other leaders, and President Trump can withdraw from it – but not without political costs like we saw at the recent G-20 meeting in Germany and public pressure like E2 and other groups have waged through efforts like the www.wearestillin.org campaign and letters like this one we delivered to the White House signed by more than 360 E2 members and supporters.
Other rollbacks of commonsense clean energy and climate policies will be even harder for the Trump administration.
When President Trump submitted his annual budget request to Congress, even many Republicans scoffed at the severe cuts he proposed to clean energy research, development and deployment, including a 70 percent cut to clean energy research and deployment programs at the Dept. of Energy; elimination of the game-changing ARPA-E program; draconian cuts to community energy efficiency programs and elimination of the highly popular Energy Star efficiency program.
Why are members of Congress scoffing at these cuts? Because they know that programs like these help drive research dollars into technologies that when utilized by entrepreneurs help launch businesses and create jobs in their states and districts. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 the solar and wind industries each were creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy. The fastest growing profession in the country was wind technician. These jobs are non-partisan and they are often in rural areas, mostly represented by Republicans. E2 is fighting back hard in Washington against these cuts by making sure Congress knows the harm they will cause.
On July 18, E2 is bringing a group of CEOs from cleantech incubators across the country to tell the story of companies they work with in states as diverse as New York, Oregon, Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Georgia and to put a face and a story to what these cuts will mean to American communities and companies.
This is the third advocacy trip E2 has run this year that is focused on defending these DOE programs. By organizing the cleantech incubator CEOs and leading them on this latest advocacy trip, E2 is doing something unprecedented and bringing another set of unique voices to our work.
We also put together this website defending federal investments in each state and to tell these the story of what these programs mean to communities and companies across the country.
Research and development programs at the Department of Energy and other agencies are at the core of America’s clean energy innovation. The Trump administration’s attempts to kill off these programs will hurt our international competitiveness, our economy and our environment.
Thanks to the continued support of our members, E2 won’t let that happen without a fight.