Donald Trump may have little ability to make changes to U.S. government energy policy, The New York Times reported.
While President Barack Obama has been enabling policies to tackle climate change, Trump has questioned its existence and vowed to kill a global climate change deal and to support the coal industry, the Times reported.
The federal government does not have much control over American energy policy, especially over generation of electricity. Environmental advocates have helped install renewable energy mandates in more than half of states, and efforts to roll those back have not been successful, the Times report said.
A focus on renewable energy is on the rise around the world, with more than half of investment in generation of new electricity is in renewable energy, and wind power is adding manufacturing jobs in Republican-leaning states. A 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report said that wind-farm technician would be the fastest-growing job in the U.S.
According to the Times, the incoming Republican-led Congress could target renewable energy subsidies, but those are already set to decrease over five years in a deal that Republicans signed onto in 2015.
Concerns about Trump’s effect on the environmental science community are strong, but climate scientist Ben Santer holds out hope, according to an interview in The Los Angeles Times.
“Maybe there are people in the new administration who are willing to sit down and be educated and have a conversation. I have to hope that there are those people.”