Trump Victory will have little or no Effect on Fusion
Donald J. Trump’s upset victory in the U.S. Presidential election will have little or no effect on either hot or cold fusion.
Under the U.S. Constitution the President has little or no influence over science and technology research because he or she does not write the budget. Congress; especially the House of Representatives, writes the budget which means it supplies the money.
President Trump would have the power to issue an executive order halting; or stepping up, low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) or hot fusion research. Yet that order would be a meaningless piece of paper because Congress would supply the money for the actual research and development.
Trump’s party, the Republicans has control over Congress, but Trump actually has very little control over Republican Senators and Representatives. Instead all he can do is suggest legislation to them and sign it – if it ever reaches his desk.
There is another reason why any meaningful action on fusion research in Washington is unlikely. Neither the President nor Congress has that much interest in science and technology largely because the voters do not.
The issues of science, technology and research did not come up on the campaign trail. The only discussions of science were the standard party line babble about global warming; Democrats said they believe in it, Republicans said they do not.
On energy Trump seems to be strongly in favor of fossil fuels, because it got him a lot of votes. Much of Trump’s support comes from working class Americans many of whom rely on fossil fuel extraction jobs; such as coal mining and the oil industry, to feed their families.
The Trump Energy Policy
A likely Trump energy policy will be to make some symbolic moves to increase fossil fuel production – which also netted Trump campaign donations from oil interests. That will not affect fusion or other research, although it might do some harm to renewable energy.
The future of fusion depends on entrepreneurs and investors; like Bill Gates and Tom Darden, and inventors like Andrea Rossi not on politicians. The best course of action for fusion boosters is to simply ignore Mr. Trump, and concentrate on efforts like the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project, because at the end of the day politicians will do nothing to solve the energy crisis. Only technology will do that.
One final prediction here, if a working fusion device appears, Trump like any other politician will embrace it and claim responsibility for it.