Trump Protects Coal, Tesla Powers Hawaiian Island
President Trump made good on his promise to roll back Barack Obama’s restrictions on greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. The move was announced by new Environmental Protection Agency Director and climate-change denier Scott Pruitt on March 28.
Trump and Pruitt claim that the move will increase coal burning and the number of coal-mining jobs. Something that even Robert Murray the CEO of America’s largest private coal miner admitted would not happen. Even though Murray is a strong supporter of Trump’s actions, he told The Guardian that Trump’s move will not restore any coal mining jobs.
Trump moved to get rid of the Clean Power Plan; which was designed to cut US carbon emissions by 32% by 2030. Murray was one of a number of observers who pointed out that a glut of coal on the market, falling demand and prices and mechanized mining means there will be no new coal-mining jobs. Fortunately there is other work available, the U.S. solar power industry employed more people in 2016 than the coal industry, Mother Jones reported.
Tesla is worth more than Ford
Meanwhile America’s most visible clean energy company Elon Musk’s Tesla is on the march. Less than a week after China’s Tencent Holdings bought 5% of the battery, solar panel and auto manufacturer, Seeking Alpha reported that Tesla’s market capitalization the value of all its stock was worth more than Ford.
That’s an interesting development because Tesla reported revenues of just $7 billion and an operating loss of $123.83 million on December 31, 2016. Ford reported $151.80 billion in revenues and making $19.79 billion in cash from operations on the same day. Ford had a market capitalization of $45.13 billion on April 3, 2017, according to ycharts, while Tesla had a market cap of $48.74 billion or over $3 billion more than Ford on the same day, according to ycharts data.
Not coincidently Ford now has plans to spend $4.5 billion on electric cars over the next four years, and bring out 13 electric models by 2020, Geek Crunch Reviews reported. Given Tesla’s success it is easy to see why.
Tesla’s 13 Megawatt Solar Farm
Part of Tesla’s appeal is its construction of massive solar battery farms. Its’ SolarCity subsidiary has installed on a 13 megawatt solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai that includes 52 megawatts of battery storage, Autoblog reported. The storage is provided by 272 of Tesla’s Powerpack 2 lithium units.
The farm is supposed to save Kauai Island Cooperative (KUIC) from buying 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuels a year. It also allows the cooperative to provide electricity at night without burning diesel fuel.
It looks as if Mr. Market and President Trump disagree. The market thinks that renewable nonpolluting energy and next generation energy is the future. That bodes well for new technologies like low energy nuclear reaction.
One reason for that might be that investors and traders understand that climate change is for real and are moving to cash in on it. Hopefully people like Trump will learn that lesson.