Biden’s influence on environmental policy? A Clean Energy Revolution
Before starting today’s topic, I would like to first state that political analysis is definitely not my field, thus the followings only represent my personal views.
The main points of this discussion are, the differences between Trump and Biden’s policy on tackling “energy” and “climate”, and what we can expect after Biden takes the stage.
This year is my first year following the US election.
As Trevor Noah said, the biggest success of Trump is that he attracts the public’s interest in politics.
Trump himself, it is quite literally, a media himself. He is even more successful than the Kardashians. Even Trump’s random dance can spark a trend in Tiktok.
No matter what, like watching my favorite TV show, I watched the election.
As of today, many people already know the results of this election. Biden is coming to power and becoming the 46th president of the United States, kicking Trump out of the white house and breaking Trump’s dream of a second term.
On the streets of New York, people honked in their cars, paraded in-crowd.
But before Biden’s supporters start celebrating, everyone should realize that “The process of this election is just as important as the result.”
When we are witnessing 74 million people choosing to kick Donald Trump out of the white house, there are also over 70 million people voted for him and everything he said or stands for.
“We can not and should not ignore that millions voted for Trump.”
“Meaning that either they actively support him or at the very least comfortable enough with it.”
As mentioned in a previous news report: “The early results of the election did not find a winner, but it confirmed the reality of this country’s division.”
If we compare these two graphs closely, we will find that the red area on the left (states voted for Trump) and the distribution of coal plants on the right have obvious overlap.
In those states, which have existing coal production, people tend to support Trump.
This is related to the previous promise from Trump for the coal industry.
The revitalization of the coal industry and increasing job opportunities were Trump’s selling points.
After coming to power in 2017, Trump relaxed the regulations on the fossil fuel industry. The limitation on coal plants emission has been loosened. More proposals have been promoted to “open the door for coal plants”.
However, the shrinkage of the coal industry is an inevitable trend due to many factors.
除了大量的自动化导致对工人需求的减少之外，哥伦比亚大学的一篇报道指出：“美国49%的煤炭用量的降低是基于天然气价格的下降，18%是由于新能源的增长。” (Columbia SIPA, April 2017)
In addition to the reduction in the workforce due to automation, a previous report by Columbia University pointed out:
“49 percent of the decline in domestic US coal consumption was due to the drop in natural gas prices… 19% percent was due to growth in renewable energy.” (Columbia SIPA, April 2017)
Under this overall downhill trend, the effect of Trump’s effort is limited.
Also, although Trump claimed he was “helping miners get job opportunities”. In fact, he has more likely helped the interests of companies than those of the real workers, by loosening up the regulations without promoting safety measurements or worker’s welfare.
有人嘲笑，中国有五年计划，美国有“四年计划” – 每四年换一任总统，来推翻前一任的决策。
People make fun of US politics. They say that China has a five-year plan, and the United States has a “four-year plan”- changing the president every four years to overthrow the previous decision.
Trump abolished the incentives for new energy sources from the Obama-era, called off the Climate Action Plan and the Clean Water Act, and withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement.
和特朗普不同，拜登被称为“气候变化的先驱” “climate change pioneer” 。
This time, the new president Biden is called a “climate change pioneer”, who chose to firmly stand by clean energy.
He promised to incorporate climate change policies into the US national strategy and announced that on his Day One he would submit a notice to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that the US intends to re-enter the Paris agreement.
We can expect that in the next four years, he is very likely to promote the clean energy industry, reduce support for fossil fuels, and set new carbon emission reduction plans.
His most noticeable plan – Biden’s plan, is calling for a “clean energy revolution”, and it is aiming for achieving a 100% clean energy economy and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
With the strategy pointing at the fossil fuel industry, it inevitably causes a backlash from the enterprises and workers.
In his Biden’s plan, he deliberately stressed that this plan would protect the rights of coal miners, compensate enterprises’ expenditures, assist communities in coping with the closure of coal plants, and help unemployed workers to get re-employed.
Biden这次推行的这个计划主要是基于之前的“Green New Deal”(绿色新政)的框架上，由政府推动经济转型，在促进可持续能源发展的同时，创建大量的绿色岗位来刺激就业。和1930年代的“罗斯福新政”相似，这场改革推动年轻人回到工作岗位，来挽救不断低迷的经济。
The plan that Biden promoted this time is based on the framework of the previous “Green New Deal” – a government leading transformation strategy towards a green economy. While promoting sustainable energy development, it can also create many green jobs. Similar to the “New Deal” from the 1930s, this reform promotes people to return to work so to save the slowing-down economy.
Biden believes that it is crucial to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, to revitalize the US energy sector and stimulate its economic development.
Time杂志称 “2020 is the defining year”, 2020是决定性的一年。
Time Magazine is calling 2020 the defining year.
This year, China also proposed a “new infrastructure plan” to develop high-speed railways and 5G technology, which will promote a green information economy. It is also predicted that the climate change agreement between China and the Obama administration may be restored under Biden’s administration.
After the pandemic, what will be our recovery path?
and tons of the News that I read these days.