Burn Baby Burn: Trump Set To Eviscerate Obama’s Environmental Protection and Climate Change Reforms

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With the health care reform defeat, the Trump Administration is moving aggressively toward new goals including tax cuts in Congress.  Today, however, he will keep another pledge and dismantle Obama orders protecting the environment and combating climate change and environmental protection. With the rescinding of the orders, Trump will place the United States in the most anti-climate change posture of any major nation, rivaling even China in the lack of hard commitments to move away from fossil fuels. Indeed, he is expected to open up new leases for coal and relax regulations to allow increased fossil fuel consumption.  As I have previously discussed, this move is not only running against the grain of other major nations but against the market itself. While other countries are moving aggressively toward clean energy and green markets, the United States will be moving aggressively backward…

obviously view the rollback on environmental and energy policies to be a terrible decision for the public. Indeed, any rational review of the market can see that green technology and alternative energy is the future for the world economy.  We are going big on yesterday’s industries like the investors who bet heavily on new canal projects despite the obvious advancement of railroads.  Tesla is now worth as much if not more than Ford.  Solar energy not employs more than all of the fossil fuel industries combined.  Major nations are now moving to be fossil free with huge strides in the use of alternative energy sources, including Germany.

I have always been caught in a philosophical dilemma. I believe that these issues need to be decided by Congress even though I have little faith that Congress will move toward greater environmental protection and alternative fuels.  That is burden of a representative democracy. I do not believe that these issues should be decided unilaterally by Obama or Trump.  The decisions come with great costs either way.  It needs to be a decision of the country as a whole.  However, I believe that Obama was right about the need to move strongly in favor of these measures to protect the future of this country and the whole at large.  I have no objections to Republicans who raise questions about the real benefits of some measures, particularly given their high costs. I also believe that there is a need to address the skyrocketing regulations imposed on businesses. However, we need to take action (in my view) to curtail these pollutants and have this debate . . . on the floor of Congress…(more)

I don’t think anyone is going to convince GE to start producing incandescent light bulbs again. I doubt anyone will go back to transistor radios. Maybe some people will consider going back in the coal mines, but the market may not be there, and reviving a dead market may not be worth it. The car industry is way past producing gas guzzlers. Industries are moving at a fast pace, developing new products for a hungry consumer market. It probably will not take Trump long to figure this out. The real problem that needs to be solved is much more difficult than turning the clock back. We need a new paradigm for a culture and society that may not need to work 40 hours a week. If the robots already in the planning phase are rolled out the way their inventors intend, we will have to figure out how to live with them and without the high level of employment we currently enjoy. Robots are the threat to employment, not foreign trade. Maybe one of Trump’s kids can work on that problem. That is the one that needs solving.

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