Originally published on CleanTechnica
by Joshua S Hill
A group of governors from across the United States and from both sides of the political divide have penned an open letter to Donald Trump calling on the newly-elected President to support the development of solar and wind energy.
The open letter was penned by the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group of the country’s governors, currently representing twenty states. Specifically, the letter was penned by the governors of Rhode Island and Kansas, on behalf of the Coalition.
“The Coalition’s twenty member-states are home to hundreds of wind and solar energy facilities that employ hundreds of thousands of Americans and contribute significantly to each state’s economy, and the nation’s at large,” the letter explains (PDF), as the authors explained the current role of renewable energy in the electricity mix, as well as the role it is playing for jobs and the economy. Referencing the recently published National Solar Job Census, the Coalition explained that “the country’s solar industry employed over 200,000 and added 31,000 new jobs.”
“Members of the Coalition have seen the benefits of renewable energy firsthand, and agree that expanding renewable energy production is one of the best ways to meet the country’s growing demand for energy,” they write.
“Today’s wind and solar resources offer consumers nearly unlimited electric energy with no fuel costs, no national security impacts, and a number of environmental benefits. The boons of renewable energy can be virtually endless with your Administration’s and Congress’ support of the key initiatives detailed here. Your support of these initiatives will allow our nation to capitalize on renewable resources, meet the needs of Americans and bolster the economy.”
The letter then outlines and details several “key initiatives” the Governors’ Coalition hopes the President will support:
- Grid modernization and Transmission Development
- Adopt Comprehensive Long-term Offshore Wind Development Legislation
- Increase Wind and Solar Research and Development Appropriations
- Streamline and Improve Collaboration for Permitting Solar and Wind Energy Projects
Whether this open letter will have much of an impact on Donald Trump’s energy policy is unclear — and not entirely promising. A lot has already been said about the dramatic impact Donald Trump’s proposed energy policies might have, and within the last few weeks we have already seen him make several moves to hamstring renewable energy and climate change policy progress, including signing an executive order to re-initiate the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. However, the sheer number of open letters which have now been sent to Donald Trump’s White House, and the incontrovertible evidence that renewable energy is a boon to the US economy, energy sector, and consumers, surely has to begin weighing heavily against Trump’s ad-hoc, factually inaccurate fantasies.