Renewables or Lost Jobs?
As 2017 gets rolling, we are set to swear in a new President. The politics are already interesting. The question is what will change, when and how. For example there has been an ongoing discussion of infrastructure bills, but aside from WITAF approval, little clear direction has been forthcoming. We only know that private sector participation will be encouraged. Of course virtually all projects constructed in the public sector are constructed by private contractors, so how/if that will change is unclear.
It is also unclear which industries will be affected. There are already comments about not pursuing he renewable energy opportunities – China sees 13 million jobs in the coming 5 years as their economy cranks up to meet the needs. They are contributing $360 billion to enhance this sector. I have previously blogged about potential opportunities in the US to grow renewables. But they are just like recycling in the 1970s. Recycling needed to be subsidized until such time as the facilities and processes were in place to make it competitive. Now for steel and aluminum, it is less costly than virgin iron or bauxite. That has several benefits to the economy and the environment.
I have previously suggested that those who do the research, develop the solutions and control the patents tend to rule the economy. The US did in throughout the 20th century. Energy is the 21st century opportunity and I would hope we don’t cede that elsewhere due to politics. 13 million jobs would really help places in rural America and place like Detroit and Flint which have the workers. It may be that instead of the federal government doing much in this arena, the state and local officials will lead the charge. California has been successful to a degree in this regard. Let’s see if making money will “trump” the politics of oil. That would be good for a lot of local governments that have workers and factories, but not jobs. That would help people like those in Flint. And it would help their utilities. Let’s work on this with our local officials