Solar power panels. Photo by: PublicDomainPictures.net
Solar power panels. Photo by: PublicDomainPictures.net

The Recent 30 Percent Increase to Solar Panel Imports Puts Clean Energy Jobs In Jeopardy

The Trump Administration recently announced a 30 percent increase to solar panel imports, as well as approving multiple areas on the coastal region for offshore drilling.

Americans from coast-to-coast are sick of one-sided news. It appears the main goal is to create sustainable, long-term jobs that will provide them with a healthy life.

Take a look at some of the data that has been reported regarding jobs in connection with the recent tariff increase, as well as plans for offshore drilling.

  • In 2018, it is estimated that 23,000 jobs nationwide will be lost over the tariff increase on solar panels. That number is estimated for one year. According to CNBC the number of new jobs created in 2017 from the solar power industry was close to 26,000 jobs.
  • By 2035, over a 17 year period, the state of South Carolina is estimated to gain 35,000 jobs from offshore drilling.

If one major storm hits the coast of South Carolina during the next 17 years, it will put fishing and tourism jobs in danger. Overall, the number of 35,000 jobs is reliant on perfect weather, as well as assuming the next president will not instantly shut down offshore drilling projects, which is expected to happen.

There is no estimated data nationally for the amount of jobs that the Trump Administration can create by 2020 for offshore drilling. In addition, all of those jobs will most likely be cut once he leaves office. In a best case scenario for Donald Trump, he gets re-elected in 2020. Those offshore drilling jobs could easily be cut in 2024. These jobs are not a long-term solution. 

In 2020, renewable energy is expected to be cheaper and more cost efficient in comparison to fossil fuels according to a study by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). So, why wouldn’t the current administration plan for the future? My theory is that they have backend ties to the fossil fuel industry, and they are trying to squeeze the last few dollars out of offshore drilling.

The recent wave of poor decision making is most likely a backlash of negativity from the press and public. Trump watches countless hours of television, and both sides of the political spectrum can no longer stand his inability to properly make decisions. The only people still supporting President Trump is a small minority of people that he hasn’t totally pissed off yet.   

Solar Power Jobs

Currently, it appears the Trump Administration has ties with the fossil fuel industry. This connection is putting thousands of jobs in danger by adding a 30 percent increase to solar power panel imports within the United States. It is clear that several of these states are known for voting Republican. One thing about job growth in our country, it trumps political agendas. The top ten solar power producing states includes:

  1. California
  2. North Carolina
  3. Arizona
  4. Nevada
  5. New Jersey
  6. Utah
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Georgia
  9. Texas
  10. New York

CNBC has reported that in 2017 the solar power industry added an estimated 26,258 jobs.   

Coal Mining Jobs

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, a government run website, the data shows that there was 50,000 jobs when Donald Trump took office. At the end of 2017, there was 50,500 coal mining jobs. An increase of 500 jobs, and the data was showing a downward trend.

The data shows that solar power jobs grew an estimated 26,000 jobs in 2017, and coal added close to 500.

My father was a coal miner, and I support all the hard working men and women that help produce energy for our country. That being said, the coal mining jobs are not coming back. The offshore drilling jobs are short-term fix and reliant on perfect weather conditions. The best bet our country is solar power. When our president adds a tariff to that industry, it shows poor decision making skills.

Watch over a YouTube video by SEIA covering solar power jobs in South Carolina.