Don’t blame President Trump; market forces will impact renewable energy

By Bill Bailey

President Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement will have little impact on the long-term outcome or use of renewable energy sources.

Four years ago I did some pretty serious research on several issues, climate change among them. It is clear that in the past there have been severe swings in the temps on Earth. But I agree with over 90 percent of the world’s scientists — Republicans, Democrats, white, black, Methodists, Lutherans, atheists, men, women, left-handed and right-handed, from all over the globe — that this swing is going to be different.

All the data shows that worldwide there are more vehicles, more technology using more kilowatts and more people demanding the next “thing” from factories than at any time in history. And short of a major pandemic or world war, this trend will not stop.

So, 25 years from now, much less 50, the market place will have demanded less expensive power. Research and technology will create jobs in renewable energy products, systems and installation/maintenance to meet those demands.

Already an analysis of utility equities shows that coal-related companies do not give the returns, now or projected, that emerging renewable energy companies do and will. This cheaper energy will benefit investors in all manufacturing.

Two generations from now, most of the grandchildren of today’s coal miners will have been forced to find employment in non-coal related jobs. We should begin tomorrow to accelerate the educational opportunities for the children and grandchildren of coal mining families.

And, note to Betsy DeVos, it was public school graduates that put us on the moon, gave us black-and-white TV and now movies on cellphones, and has made cancer cure research so successful.

Trump’s actions regarding the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement are great for headlines and talking heads, but pretty meaningless for our energy future. In the future, coal will continue to be part of the source of our energy, but for many, many reasons, the majority will be from renewable energies.

The marketplace will persevere, and, health issues involved in a cleaner environment aside, it doesn’t need Trump’s input one way or another.

Bill Bailey is a former Seymour city councilman, mayor of Seymour, state representative and president of the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce. He is a current resident of Seymour. Send comments to