While countries around the globe commit to clean energy solutions, the Trump Administration has opposed efforts to decrease carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
Following his inauguration, Trump quit the Paris Climate Accord, rolled back environmental regulations, opened up coastal waters and federal lands to expanded drilling and mining, and dropped climate change as a global threat from national security strategy. (You’ll find a running list of how Trump is changing the environment here.)
Yet 97% of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and human activity is the main cause. They warn of consequences including extreme weather, rising sea levels, drought, crop failure, endangered wildlife1, and disappearing habitats. Meanwhile, pollution from fossil fuels contributes to four of the five leading causes of death in the US: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and lung diseases2.
At least Trump’s anti-climate regulations are helping fossil-fuel dependent American regions and workers, right? Not so much.
Despite Trump’s promise to boost coal jobs, the industry is showing no major signs of a comeback. Preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were just 500 more coal jobs at the end of 2017 than when Trump took office in January3. When you factor in the 370 jobs that will soon be lost at a closing Pennsylvania mine, that number could dwindle in 2018. Overall, the US generates only around 30%4 of its electricity with coal, down from over 50% a decade ago.
In December, it was reported that oil executives are concerned about the growth of the electric car industry as over 70% of oil consumption is transportation fuel. Meanwhile, the clean energy industry continues to grow, with about half of 2017’s new utility-scale power on the US grid coming from renewable energy resources like wind and solar.5
Interestingly, 260,000 Americans are employed by the US solar energy industry6, more than five times the 50,500 people who are working in the coal industry. With solar and wind sector employment increasing 17 and 9 times faster than the US economy respectively, the future looks bright for renewables.
As 2018 began, New York City announced it would divest $189 billion in employee pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years. You too can join the movement. By moving your money to banks and investments that aren’t tied to the fossil fuel industry, you are showing you do not consent to a world where profits are prioritized over the environment.
Here at OpenInvest we have identified the public companies that profit most from fossil fuels. If you want to make a stand, we can help you divest from companies profiting from the fossil fuel industry, and companies contributing the most carbon emissions to our atmosphere.* Sign up here to learn more.
*OpenInvest’s fossil fuels screen divests you from the companies with the highest emissions potential. Divesting from all fossil fuel companies would affect diversification, but may be available upon request.
- https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES1021210001 Other months did see bigger increases. Coal jobs peaked in September at 51,700 (1,700 more).