November 11, 2016 Read More →

On the Blogs: Under Trump, ‘Renewables Should be Fine,’ and a Coal Resurgence Is Unlikely

James Conca for Forbes.com:

What is interesting is that renewables should be fine. Most of the push for renewables, and many of the financial incentives, come from individual states. Red States like Iowa and Texas are overflowing with wind energy jobs and money. About the only thing doing well in Brownback’s financially-destroyed trickle-down Kansas is the wind industry.

Even more, the Republican controlled Congress already extended the renewable energy Production Tax Credit to 2021, so don’t look for renewables to decline anytime soon.

Environmental and energy regulations will simply fall to the states. That’s fine for California which already has strong regs. But this is not so fine for the people of Oklahoma experiencing growing fracking-related earthquake activity. Pennsylvania has put strong fracking regulations in place, and New York has banned it altogether.

The big unknown is coal. While many just assume coal will make a resurgence in a Trump Administration, I wouldn’t bet on it. Successful fracking for natural gas in tight shale formations has enormously increased America’s natural gas production, keeping prices low, and outcompeting all other energy sources, especially coal and nuclear. It doesn’t make a lot of financial sense to expand coal use again within the United States.

While fracking has its environmental problems, such as fugitive emissions and poorly-sealed wells, these are minor compared to coal mining, coal waste impoundments, and coal emissions of particulates, heavy metals, sulfur and nitrogen compounds. These latter lead to important, and costly, health care issues from burning coal, something China is now grappling with.

Many states have embraced this move from coal to gas, and a sudden lessening of federal regulations isn’t going to change that.

Full item: Renewable Energy Will Do Just Fine In President Trump’s America

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