On September 26, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton met for their first debate in the presidential election cycle. The much-anticipated event delivered on the hype, with approximately 84 million viewers tuning in to see each candidate come face to face with the rival they have been trashing in the media for over a year. It was the most watched presidential debate in history, and energy played a small but significant role.
Energy came up in one very sharp exchange over the existence of climate change. The candidates were asked about how they would bring back jobs, and Secretary Clinton said that America needs to be “the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century.” She then took a jab at Trump by saying “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.” Trump responded with “I did not say that.” Though this did not seem to be a particularly impactful moment in the debate, in the days that have followed many pointed out that several years ago Trump did actually tweet that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
In that same exchange, the two also seemed to clash over subsidies for renewable electricity. Secretary Clinton said that “We can deploy a half a billion more solar panels,” and Trump retorted, “She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one.” Trump also complained that Sec. Clinton was not giving fossil fuels their due, saying “I’m a great believer in all forms of energy, but we’re putting a lot of people out of work.”
If Trump were elected, he would have the ability to roll back some of the climate policies put in place by President Obama. Regardless of the President, however, it is likely that government policy will continue to favor a shift towards renewable resources. That shift may also be boosted by cheaper renewable electricity generating equipment. At times, the transition to renewables will cause a misalignment between the regulated utility rate for electricity and actual generation costs. Customers in deregulated markets can take advantage of such mismatches by negotiating their best price directly with their utility. EnergyCare can help – call us today.