Friday, June 2, 2017
Day 133: THE JOB KILLER AND CHIEF
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DAY 133: Trump still has not released his tax returns, leaving us to guess at the extent and depth that he has financial ties to Russia and other foreign countries.
THE JOB KILLER IN CHIEF:
Trump gave the finger to the world yesterday, officially abdicating his role as leader of the free world, and pulling out of the Paris Climate accord. He stood there and lied to the country, promising that doing so would be better for American Jobs. Then EPA dickwad, Scott Pruit stood up and praised Trump like he was Moses come down from the mountain, and never (or barely) even mentioned the environment or climate change.
Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on June 1, Trump declared that jobs in clean energy would take a back seat to jobs in coal. If you were wondering why the earth shook a little, it was because 1.4 billion Chinese people were jumping up and down cheering.
I probably can't do a great job in explaining why Trump's latest attempt to distract us from the investigations into the behavior of his campaign, administration and his person, is terrible for the U.S. economy, but I'll give it a shot.
First, as admission. It is a fact that wind and solar power today cost more to generate than coal power. Here are two other facts to keep in mind: 1. It is a virtual certainty that clean energy can create far more jobs, and money, than coal and oil.
And 2. In order to do so in America, the clean energy industry needs assurances and subsidies from the government to get the process in full swing.
And 3. Yesterday, Trump attempted to pull that assurance out from under the feet of big business. And they hate him for that.
Let's circle back to point #2 for a second. Government support for clean energy. Why is it important.
To answer that question, we need to take a journey back in time. Well, we don't really need to do that. I could just say that the more assurances big business has that it will make a profit, the more venture capital and investment in the industry you get. But let's go back in time anyway.
To the current energy grid. Now, I don't want to say how far back in time we're going, because I'd have to google it, and I'm in a hurry. But the U.S. energy grid works something like this. Companies build power plants and get paid for generating power, so that you can log on your computer and read blogs like this, and purchase fantastic books LIKE THESE! (Click here) .
Now, imagine you are in the power plant business, and you are being asked to build a plant that will cost you ...
Except it's a lot closer to $2 Billion Dollars. That's a lot of Dollars! In a complete free market, building a two billion dollar power plant would be very risky. A two week price war with your competitor could put you out of business. Or demand might be a little weaker than you anticipated and BAM! You're going door to door selling Cutco knives.
That's why the kilowatt prices are negotiated with the government. The government tells the power company how much it is allowed to sell its energy for, and promises that it will not have to worry about selling it for less.
And that's how we have a power grid. The promise of a specific profit frees up the capital a company needs to build a two billion dollar power plant.
Now, when we know coal and other fossil fuels are putting the lives of 100s of millions at risk, we have the opportunity to invest in a solution. Our government can give political and financial assurance that it is committed to transforming the power grid into a clean energy mecca. If we were to give such assurances, a lot more venture capital (that's money used to invest in new business), would be available, and that means a lot more investment in clean energy.
Yes, that means government subsidies in the beginning. That's kinda what government is for. To promote agendas that increase the health and economy of the nation. We did it with the energy grid. We did it with computers (Google it). And we were doing it with clean energy.
After yesterday, however, we don't really know what we are doing. And that's bad for venture capital, and that's bad for investment.
The future of jobs in the energy sector lie in producing wind turbines and selling them everywhere. In producing solar power and selling them everywhere. In producing electric cars, solar powered vibrators, etc. That is where jobs lie. That's why so many companies, including Exxon and whatever other giant energy companies are around, are against leaving the treaty.
Exxon knows that if there is going to be a clean energy revolution, it is a company that is poised to take advantage of it.
But it needs to know that if it invests tens of billions in wind power, the government is supporting the effort. Companies need assurance from their government that they won't go broke trying to save the world. Otherwise, they'll just let someone else do it.
And that's why everyone in China is jumping up and down cheering.
It's 9:56 a.m.