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  • Monday, January 29, 2018

    The Solar Tariff Imposed By Dirty Old Men

    The Economics of Dirty Old Men

    Paul Krugman, January 25, 2018 (NY Times)

    “…[The just-imposed tariff on imported solar panels and cells] fits in with an important part of this administration’s general vision…[T]his is very much an administration of dirty old men…[and the solar tariff] will surely destroy many more jobs than it will create…[The U.S. is largely out of the solar panel-producing business…[and this tariff] won’t change it…[It is temporary and] won’t induce any long-term investments, and therefore won’t bring the U.S. solar panel industry back. What it will do, however, is put a crimp in one of the U.S. economy’s big success stories, the rapid growth of renewable energy…[It is clear that] hurting renewables is actually a good thing from [this administration’s] point of view…

    Over the past decade or so there has been a remarkable technological revolution in energy production…[driven by cheap and abundant natural gas and] stunning reductions in the cost of solar and wind power…[They have] become cost-competitive with conventional energy, and their cost is still falling fast. And they also employ…around five times as many people…Why do Trump and company love dirty energy? Partly it’s about the money…[I]t’s good for G.O.P. campaign finance…Partly it’s about blue-collar voters, who still imagine that Trump can bring back coal jobs…[Maybe] it’s also about a kind of machismo, a sense that real men don’t soak up solar energy; they burn stuff…” click here for more

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