I know it's a catchy title, but it is true. During Trump's four years in office, he was at war with America and his favorite weapon of mass destruction was tariffs. He claimed tariffs would level the playing field and make China pay. No, Americans paid those tariffs, not China, and Mexico did not pay for the wall.
On Feb 7th, 2018, a 30% solar module import tariff took effect. This had a devastating effect on North Carolina. We were No.2 in the nation following, dare I say California’s renewal solar energy program. Now were 10th trailing behind Florida.
These tariffs slowed clean energy job creation in North Carolina. The U.S. solar module prices increased, while the rest of the world saw their prices drop. I guess that was due to demand for clean energy.
During the 4 years of solar #tariffs, and according to a Government report by USITC, Trump’s solar tariffs accomplished little. It hurt the U.S. solar module industry, increased prices, wages dropped, and taxpayers paid greater than $741 million through these tariffs by the end of 2019.
Before Covid19, North Carolina was on track for clean energy job growth. According to e2.org – nearly 113,000 North Carolinians work in solar, wind, grid modernization, energy storage, clean vehicles at the end of 2019. However, Covid19 squashed that industry and right now we have lost 19% of clean energy jobs. 22,000 North Carolinians remain unemployed and nationally that is 511,000 Americans.
Yesterday, Republican Ted Budd (R-NC13) touted he was ready to work with President Biden and in the same breath just 6 hours later he is attacking the President for canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. Budd claimed this would kill 10,000 jobs, help Russia, China and referenced a fossil fuel propaganda website to back up the claim. Funny thing, the State Dept reviewed the project and their report found that it would only create about 3,900 temporary jobs and 15 permanent jobs. It is clear to me that Budd is using his position to be a mouthpiece for his Big Oil donors.
We must finally move away from fossil fuels. It is literally killing us, poisoning our lands, water, air and continues to pump green-house gases on the planet. Moving forward, this is why a Green New Deal is important. We have the technology right now to get to zero emissions by 2050. But we need the will of Congress to launch a 10-year plan. That is why we need to move our country from fossil fuel energy production to clean renewable production. Upgrade the power grid, upgrade buildings to be more energy efficient. Invest in electric vehicles and improve our transportation system.
Now I am sure Rep. Ted Budd will use those silly fossil fuel propaganda websites he pushes for his Big Oil donor’s. But the Green New Deal will provide a new economic boom across all sectors of our nation. Housing, Transportation, Education, Tech Jobs, and new Energy Jobs. The first step is rejoining the Paris Climate agreement and on his first day in office President Biden did just that. Now cancel the tariffs.
So, let us roll up our sleeves and work to Build Back Better our nation, our economy and ensure we have a clean and bright future for our children and mother earth.
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