So far in this presidential primary, Donald Trump has been less than granular in his policy positions related to energy and climate. So it’s not too late for The Donald to lay down some specifics and support President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is focused on tackling climate change by reducing emissions from the nation’s power plants.
There’s roughly a zero chance he’ll actually do that. But here are five reasons why he should:
1. It’s popular, dummy! According to a Stanford University/ New York Times poll, more than two thirds of Americans said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who champions climate change solutions. Not only that, but a majority of Republicans – 48 percent – said they favored a candidate who is willing to fight global warming. And a recent Public Policy Polling survey in North Carolina (one of the key primary states, mind you) found that Republicans went for the President’s plan by 49 to 44 percent.
2. It’s the jobs, stupid! The Clean Power Plan is going to significantly increase clean energy jobs. The solar industry alone now employs more than 174,000 Americans and is growing at breakneck speed. Given the cost of rooftop residential solar dropped by half since 2010, that trend is only going to heat up in the years ahead. And wind isn’t flapping in the breeze either. Between 2005 and 2014, wind went from less than half a percent of total electricity generation to nearly 4.5 percent – an amazing acceleration. The Clean Power Plan will help fast-track growth in these clean jobs and industries while improving American competitiveness.
3. The Hispanic vote matters, loser! So far, the jury is out on whether or not Mr. Trump is connecting with Hispanic voters. But let’s just say it ain’t looking good for our mogul. So he may just want to stake out a position on issues they care about – like climate change. Hispanic voters are more likely than non-Hispanic voters to view global warming as a problem and to feel its effects impact them personally.
4. You could use a few friends in high places, lightweight! With the Vatican’s encyclical on climate and the environment, it’s now morally cool to be in favor of policies to reduce emissions. As Pope Francis prepares to speak before a joint session of Congress next month about the need for climate change solutions, Mr. Trump might do well politically (and beyond) by kissing the Papal ring.
5. You could make more money, clown! And last but not least, under the Clean Power Plan, renewable energy like solar will be in ever-greater demand. Just think about all the money Mr. Trump could make if he installed rooftop solar on all his real estate.