Last week President Donald Trump (R) announced that he would pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The controversial decision has been decried by businesses, cities and states. Now a new poll also shows that nearly 60 percent of people in the US are opposed to his decision, while a new report from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) discussed how the decision can impact the US.
The new Washington Post-ABC poll found that people opposed Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement by a roughly 2-to-1 margin. Fully 59 percent opposed the action while only 28 percent supported it. “The reactions also break down sharply along partisan lines, though Republicans are not as united in support of the withdrawal as Democrats are in opposition of it. A 67 percent majority of Republicans support Trump’s action, but that drops to 22 percent among political independents and 8 percent of Democrats,” wrote post reporters Scott Clement and Brady Dennis. “Just over 6 in 10 independents and 8 in 10 Democrats oppose Trump’s action.”
The poll also found that many were skeptical of Trump’s claim that exiting the Paris agreement will be good for the US’s economy. Just 32 percent of those polled agreed with Trump on that claim. On the other hand, 42 percent responded they think the move will hurt the economy. A slight majority of respondents anticipated that the exit also will cost more jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency than it will create in coal, gas and oil.
The analysts over at S&P, lead by Michael Ferguson, observed that withdrawing from Paris could pose significant consequences for the power industry over time. “While the development is not unexpected, since Trump campaigned on both his desire to curb environmental regulations and his dislike for international alliances, the announcement has generated substantial international controversy already, even with Trump's offer to renegotiate at a later date,” Ferguson said. “In conjunction with recent announcements weakening the Clean Power Plan and initiating a Department of Energy-led 60-day review of the baseload fuels (coal and nuclear), the decision promises to reverberate across the American power grid.”
“These developments could have profoundly negative implications for renewable generators,” Ferguson said. “Bearing in mind that the full details of the ‘plan’ for withdrawing from the Paris Agreement are not yet known, it seems less likely that we'll see a continuation of supportive federal tax credits after 2018 and 2020, when the production tax credit and investment tax credit, respectively, begin rolling off. But, more important, we had seen the Clean Power Plan as being immensely supportive of renewable generation.”
Originally S&P anticipated that much of the US’s coal-fired generation would be retired by the end of the decade as more renewables come online and state ramped up their renewable portfolio standards. “But now the outlook has become a bit more unclear,” Ferguson said. “Certainly, progressive states like New York and California continue to put forward bold initiatives to increase renewable penetration and have expanded their efforts to include next generation renewables (including offshore wind), batteries, and demand reduction products, with incentives to match. But in other jurisdictions, the economics could now be the main driver, and market constructs could largely determine how effective renewables are in competing.”
The analytics and research firm said going forward, it now expects state-level policies and programs to drive the transition to more clean and renewable energy.Tweet