President-elect Trump’s “Energy Independence” website indicates he wants to “make America energy independent … while protecting the country’s most valuable resources — our clean air, clean water, and natural habitats.” Let’s start in Idaho, harnessing Idaho’s abundant sunshine, wind, hydro and geothermal energy.
What about jobs? Renewable energy employment in the U.S. increased 6 percent in 2015 to reach 769,000 jobs. Solar industry employment alone grew 22 percent, 12 times as fast as overall job creation in the U.S. economy, and over three times the jobs for oil, gas, plus coal extraction.
Growing renewable energy will increase our energy security by eliminating dependence on energy sources outside Idaho.
Clean, renewable energy reduces health care costs. In 2010, it’s estimated that particle pollution from U.S. coal plants resulted in 13,200 deaths, 9,700 hospitalizations, and 20,000 heart attacks. Total health cost was estimated at over $100 billion per year.
While building infrastructure, let’s install charging stations for electric vehicles powered by Idaho renewable energy and undo vehicle registration punishment for EVs and hybrids.
Why use dirty, polluting 19th-century coal-burning, when new-technology clean energy is where the world is going?
Renewable energy grows energy independence, jobs, health and protects Idaho’s air, water and land. This is how we make America great.
Lisa Hecht, Boise