An Open Letter To President Trump

Dear President Trump,

    I am writing to you today about the environment. I hail from sunny Florida, a state that is one of the most at-risk areas when it comes to negative environmental factors. I beg you to calibrate your policy with the protection of the environment in all its forms at the forefront of your mind. I ask you what humanity truly has if the earth is turned into unlivable rubble?

    I get it, though. You are a businessman. You are particularly interested in helping your fellow business owners. That’s the thing. Environmental policy can be productive. It can create jobs, it can save money, and it can promote a better society for us all to live in. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a report listing the number of green jobs existing within the United States totaled more than three million. It has grown significantly since then. According to a report released in 2015 by the Department of Energy, the wind energy industry consisted of 50,000 employees across the United States. The report goes on to say that if the wind industry hit its target of 20% of the nation’s electricity by 2030, the wind industry could support 380,000 well-paying jobs, $650 million in annual lease payments to landowners, and nearly $1.8 billion in tax payments to communities

   Renewable energy is also becoming increasingly cheap. The installation of solar projects has fallen by more than 50% since 2009. Solar energy has increasingly become a cost-effective solution for utility companies all across the country, with the price of PPA’s falling and a steady line of future project elevating competition. Also, most consumers don’t know that, as of 2011, utilizing personal solar power systems can save you on average $20,000 over 20 years. In some states, it is double that amount. Since 2011, the price of solar panels has dropped significantly; thereby, dramatically increasing the savings for a prospective consumer of solar energy. 

   The cost of wind energy has fallen too when compared to natural gas or coal. A report issued by the EU in 2014 found that onshore wind energy costs roughly $132 per MW/h; whereas, gas and coal can run anywhere from $206 to $293 per MW/h. In 2015, the Department of Energy released a report stating that the LCOE for wind energy had dropped by 90% from 1980 to 2015. 

   Certain alternative fuel cars also have the ability to provide significant savings to the consumer. Currently, Tesla has the ability to save consumers around $1,320 a year at the pump with the Model S. Various hybrid cars and fuel cell cars can save consumers up to several hundred dollars a year.

    Nuclear energy has the potential to provide tens of thousands of well-paying jobs to Americans across the country. It is a reliable resource that isn’t subject to weather conditions, unpredictable fuel costs, or over-dependence on foreign entities. Nuclear energy is great for the economy too providing on average $470 million in sales of goods and services in local communities. Annually, nuclear reactors pay around $67 million in federal taxes providing much-needed revenue for government operations. 

   Also, renewable energy technology is absolutely essential to the health and well-being of American citizens. It is estimated that the annual economic impact of fossil fuels ranges between $361.7 and $886.5 billion. Most of this cost is due to the strain put on our health care system from pollutants created by fossil fuels. Renewable energy can also save lives. According to a 2013 study from MIT, air pollution causes around 200,000 premature deaths a year, with electricity generation contributing to around 52,000 of those deaths. You can prevent that from happening by enthusiastically supporting renewable energy. 

    All this is to say that “green” technology can be extremely beneficial for Americans in this country and abroad. You ran your campaign on the idea of “Putting Americans First”. Here is a perfect opportunity to prove it. Prove to us that you are a man of the people. Prove to us that you truly care about saving the middle-class and poor money. Prove that you care about the health and well-being of the citizens you govern.

   You have the opportunity, but you have to act fast. Right now, China is becoming the world leader in renewable energy. In the past two years, they have surpassed us as the world’s leading manufacturer of renewable energy. America may have to swap its dependence on Middle Eastern oil to Chinese wind turbines and solar panels. They are clearly leaving us in the dust.  You can change that. 

A concerned citizen,

Robert Potter