Will The Next President Miss Out On A $30 Billion Deal?

By Roy L Hales

Donald Trump boasts about his ability to recognize and make deals. But does he recognize the value of initiatives like fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, appliance standards and the Clean Power Plan? Will the next President miss out on a $30 billion deal?

Will The Next President Miss Out On A $30 Billion Deal?

Clean Power Plan shows potential savings if the plan survives and states use efficiency as a first choice to meet it (or if states add programs for other benefits – Courtesy ACEEE

That is how much the United States is already recouping through energy efficiency initiatives every year and, according to a recent article by Lowell Ungar from the American Council for  Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the savings could amount to trillions by 2040:

“The real benefits should arrive long after Obama, and even after Trump, leaves the Oval Office. In the years to come, as people buy new cars and equipment and we hope as states implement more programs, the savings from policies already put in place will blossom. By 2030, we project these actions will save 10-14 quads of energy a year (10-14% of all energy use), worth $250-290 billion a year. By 2040, the savings continue to increase to 13-17 quads and $370-410 billion a year. They could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as a billion tons a year. We estimate the present value of the energy savings through 2040 at $2.5-2.9 trillion. (This does not count the investment needed, but that will be much smaller).”

The United States Could Cut Its’ Energy Usage In Half

Lobby of an Energy Star Building in Concord, Massachusetts courtesy Cummings Properties via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

An ACEEE white paper suggests the United States could cut its’ energy use in half by:

  1. “developing new building codes, equipment efficiency standards, and ENERGY STAR® specifications;
  2. “substantially improving the efficiency of existing factories, homes, commercial buildings, transmission and distribution systems, and power plants; and
  3. “better managing freight and aviation energy use, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and spurring changes in how individuals use energy at home, at work, and in transport.”

Ungar added that though these initiatives are not enough by themselves, they go a long way towards meeting America’s climate goals.

Does Trump’s Team Recognize The Deal?

So does the Trump administration recognize the deal?

“The transition team has, at times, spoken against the Clean Power Plan. I’m not aware that they have spoken on appliance standards, and they basically said they would look at vehicle standards but did not take a firm position,” said Ungar.

Top Photo Credit: Characterization of the isotopic composition of car gasoline exhaust sampled directly in the tail pipe of cars. Photo Andreas Christen, UBC via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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