Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Victory Signals End Of The Green Age

New U.S. President Will Reverse Obama's
Energy And Climate Priorities
Donald J. Trump comes into office with a plan to toss out most of what President Obama achieved on energy and the environment. While vowing to “cancel” the international Paris climate accord Obama championed, Trump would also rearrange domestic energy and environmental priorities. He wants to open up federal lands to oil and gas drilling and coal mining. He wants to eliminate regulations he calls needless. He would scrap proposed regulations for tighter methane controls on domestic drillers. And he wants to shrink the role of the Environmental Protection Agency to a mostly advisory one and pull back the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s proposed plan to push utilities toward lower carbon emissions. Although Trump has portrayed himself as the ultimate outsider, in putting together a transition team the New York real estate mogul has chosen veteran Washington insiders, many of them lobbyists for fossil fuel companies and skeptics about climate science. --Steven Mufson and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post, 9 November 2016

The global fight against climate change will suffer a blow from Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, threatening the industries working to clean up pollution from fossil fuel. The next president has questioned the science of climate change, vowed to withdraw from the Paris agreement on global warming and pledging to stimulate production of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. Green campaigners and policymakers, some of whom are gathered this week in Morocco for talks on implementing the Paris deal, sounded the alarm over the upheaval they expect when Trump takes office in January. --Bloomberg News, 9 November 2016

Stephen Brown predicted that the Paris climate accord “will be scrapped quickly,” obstacles and “procedural hurdles” to infrastructure projects such as pipelines would be reexamined, and regulations about the social cost of carbon and other environmental impacts would be “gone.” “The Clean Power Plan will die a slow death,” he said, adding that public lands permitting for oil and gas drilling would open up. . --Steven Mufson and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post, 9 November 2016  

Don’t go out and buy Air Canada stock just because Donald Trump was elected; the initial reaction is not too dissimilar from that following the elections of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Although many liberals were unhappy with their electoral success, the aftermath was far short of the predicted apocalypse. Given Donald Trump’s record, expect that he, too, will prove more moderate than his pre-election stance, particularly as the realities of presidential power become more apparent. First, don’t expect him to move on many of his promises, like restoring coal jobs. Like many previous candidates, once in office reality will set in and the fact that the president doesn’t determine energy markets will become abundantly clear and quickly. Next, while he will undoubtedly be more pro-development for petroleum, oil and gas prices are more important to that industry. On climate change, abandoning the Paris Treaty would be primarily of symbolic importance, since implementation has always been the biggest obstacle. China’s announcement of a 19% increase in coal capacity over the next five years demonstrates just how little committed many of the signers are. --Michael Lynch, Forbes, 9 November 2016 

Shares in Vestas Wind Systems A/S plunged after U.S. voters unexpectedly propelled Republican nominee Donald Trump to the presidency, sparking concern that the renewable energy industry will face political headwinds in the future. The world’s biggest maker of wind turbines fell as much as 14 percent and traded 6.6 percent lower at 440.20 kroner as of 10:22 a.m. in Copenhagen. According to an Ernst & Young LLP survey published last month, the U.S. stands to lose its position as the top-ranked renewable-energy market for investors under a Trump administration. Trump has made clear “he hates wind turbines and will do what he can to fight them,” Jacob Pedersen, head of equity analysis at Sydbank, said earlier this month. --Christian Wienberg, Bloomberg News, 9 November 2016

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