As the US celebrated its independence last week a fair amount of news came out about whether or not it will become independent from the effects of climate change through more renewable energy and lower emissions. Sadly it won’t, but people are taking action, they want more solar power and Rhode Island is suing oil companies over climate change.
Recent polling by Morning Consult finds that the majority of people in the US are interested in solar power for their homes and more. A May poll found 58 percent of people are interested in solar power on their homes. An even more recent poll found that more people, 63 percent, support state mandates for solar power on new homes. The most recent poll follows the news California is mandating that all new homes in the state have solar as of 2020.
Thanks to President Trump’s (R) actions, the US is moving farther from meeting the goals it had committed to when President Obama (D) was in office. Trump made the controversial move and became the lone world leader to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. A new “Taking Stock” report from Rhodium Group found that US emissions will only fall between 12 percent and 20 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. Under the Paris Agreement the US had committed to reducing its emissions between 26 percent and 28 percent below 2005 levels.
Rhode Island might be the smallest state in the nation, but with more than 400 miles of coastline it’s already feeling the impacts of climate change and it’s taking action. The state’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin named 21 fossil fuel companies, including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell, in the suit. The suit alleged that the companies have known the impact they were and are having on the environment for more than 50 years and that they have knowingly worked to conceal and deny their knowledge of their impact. The suit would hold them responsible for damages they’ve caused Rhode Island’s citizens and the state.
REC Silicon is the latest US manufacturer to feel the impacts of Trump’s solar trade wars. The company, which produces silicon for solar panels and other purposes, announced last week that it would cut 40 percent of its workforce. The company said the trade dispute with China and its inability to sell silicon in China are the reasons for its latest round of layoffs.Tweet