Stettner: Trump’s energy policy is fundamentally dangerous

Alexandra Stettner

One of the major reasons I opposed Trump was because of his proposed energy policy. It’s a complete disaster for the environment.

Trump has outwardly supported the oil, gas, and coal industries, claiming he will reduce taxes on those industries, lift regulations, and clear the path for their growth. But the impact those industries have on the environment is astounding; they are the main cause of man-made climate change, which is indisputable. If we want to avoid major catastrophes around the world due to climate change, we must move away from these industries.


A common argument against transitioning away from those industries is the amount of Americans who are employed, the job opportunities, and the simple fact that they make money for the American economy. These were many of the arguments that Trump used to defend his proposed policies, and appeal to the public. I fully understand supporting the individuals who are employed by these industries, but continuing to support them in these industries is not the answer.

Renewable energies are growing industries, something that is still being pioneered, and has tremendous opportunities for employees to grow within the industry. Not to mention, there is an incredible amount of job openings, and the pay can be significantly higher. These companies want to expand and have the finances and infrastructure to do so, they just lack the manpower. So much so, they are offering jobs to those overseas.

These industries also are significantly safer and healthier for the employees. Coal is notoriously harmful to those workers, with cases of lung cancer and other diseases common. My grandfather, who grew up in a coal mining town, could speak to this. Clean energy is not only clean for the environment, but also for those who maintain its facilities.

If Trump was really looking out for the individuals working in the energy sector, he would be encouraging renewable industries, subsidizing those companies and helping folks who work in the oil, gas, and coal industries transition to work in the new, clean energy industries. The president-elect isn’t doing this, and neither are those representatives who are time and time again still supporting the dangerous industries.

It’s clear that politicians who “deny” climate change and continue to support those industries are not looking out for the everyday employee, but the CEOs and executives who continue to fund their campaigns.

Not only is oil, gas, and coal toxic to the environment and American politics, but it is also a dying industry and soon to be economically nonviable. These are non-renewable resources, meaning that we will run out of them. Current estimates predict the world will run out of oil in just over 50 years. Why invest so much into poisonous industry that will eventually disappear?

To put that in perspective, that’s just in our lifetimes, but also just out of the range of the global “point of no return” in regards to climate in 2050.

Worst case scenario, that means we will live to see oil run out and a wide transition to sustainable and renewable energies, but also live to see climate catastrophes around the world.

Best case scenario, we hold our politicians accountable for turning a private industry in to systematic and illogical damage to the environment for personal monetary gains and political security, while endangering a healthy future for everyone.

The funny thing about both of these scenarios, is that we hold all the power to make that decision. It’s on us. Don’t let one president and a few greedy politicians that are supposed to represent us in Washington take that power from you.