The Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines are now coming to fruition since President Donald Trump signed executive orders in January advancing these controversial oil pipelines. As debates and protests continue over the environmental impact these pipelines will have, how will the Trump administration handle other environmental policies?
On Bold TV Friday, our guest hosts Kirsten Haglund, political analyst and host of The Sonder Podcast on Faithwire.com, and TV Journalist Alyona Minkovski sat down to discuss these issues. Our guests on the show were Clara del Villar, founder of Hispanic Free Market Network and advisor to Fueling Us Forward, and David Kanter, Professor of Environmental Studies from NYU.
Clara said that at the highly emotional heart of the environmental debate is little understanding of “the facts of energy.” With only 5 percent of the energy we use coming from alternative solar and wind energy, conversations about these forms of renewable energy miss the point when the technology is not scalable, she said.
“These technologies are intermittent,” Clara said. “So when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, the turbines that provide electricity are not functional” because they cannot store the energy.
David disagreed. “I think they are ready for renewable energy,” he said. “There are more people employed in the solar industry [in the U.S.] than all other energies combined.”
David continued, “With the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the rational — whether it be energy independence or jobs — they don’t hold water at all whenever you look at the facts.”
Alyona said that this is a part of choosing short term gain and short term profit such as the creation of [only] 50 permanent jobs through DAPL. “We are still not dealing with the fact that we are making the planet uninhabitable for the future,” she said.
Ensuring that we begin using climate-friendly energy was the purpose of The Paris Agreement, a global action plan introduced in 2015 to keep the world from avoiding dangerous climate change. David said that one of the biggest signals that The Paris Agreement was going to be a success was when the U.S. and China announced jointly together to ratify.
“It sent a signal to the rest of the world that this is a priority in the U.S.,” David said.
But will environmental policies continue to be a priority under the Trump administration?
“We focus on transforming our energy system in a way that is safe for the climate,” David said. “What we don’t talk about is the cost of inaction, of business as usual.”
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Most people may have voted for Trump in Georgia, but the alternative was a bigger idiot than Trump.
We ranked 3rd nationally in renewable (solar) energy in 2016. http://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/georgia
The guy from NYU is FOS.