Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor's Statement on Pres. Trump's Intention to Quit the Paris Climate Accord

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Washington, May 31, 2017 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14), vice ranking member of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has oversight over the U.S. Department of Energy, EPA, and clean energy policy, released the following statement in regard to President Trump's intention to quit the landmark Paris Climate Accord: “President Trump’s decision to end America’s commitment to the international climate agreement is a huge economic blow to the state of Florida. It will cost us jobs and leave Floridians on the hook for the higher costs of the changing climate. Trump is ceding America’s leadership in the world to other nations with disregard for the economic damage to our people.
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14), vice ranking member of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has oversight over the U.S. Department of Energy, EPA, and clean energy policy, released the following statement in regard to President Trump's intention to quit the landmark Paris Climate Accord:

“President Trump’s decision to end America’s commitment to the international climate agreement is a huge economic blow to the state of Florida.  It will cost us jobs and leave Floridians on the hook for the higher costs of the changing climate.  Trump is ceding America’s leadership in the world to other nations with disregard for the economic damage to our people.

“Sixteen of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001, including 2016 which was the third consecutive record-breaking year.  Floridians in particular face higher costs tied to rising AC bills, property insurance, flood insurance, local taxes for infrastructure fixes, extreme weather events, beach renourishment and more.  The rising costs of the changing climate are a real threat for Florida families and businesses.  Miami and Tampa Bay are among the top 10 regions in the world most at risk from property loss from flooding and sea level rise.

“Trump’s decision strikes at the heart of the economic boost that Florida and other states enjoyed due to expanding job opportunities in clean energy, green building, solar, energy efficiency and co-generation.  Clean energy jobs are on the upswing, much more so than jobs in industries tied to fossil fuels.  Florida's construction and manufacturing industries have long been anchors of the state's economy, employing more than a half-million workers.  These industries have steadily recovered from the recession that gripped Florida in 2007.  An analysis by ICF International estimates that investing in clean energy would create 1 million new jobs in America by 2030 and 2 million jobs by 2050.  Florida was on track to see 109,000 new jobs tied to clean energy construction and manufacturing by 2030, and 206,000 jobs by 2050.

“Solar energy would have accounted for many of the new jobs and economic growth, but Trump’s damaging new attack will set us back.  The solar industry created jobs 12 times faster in solar construction, installation, operations and maintenance than those created in the overall U.S. workforce.  In 2016, one out of every 50 new jobs in America was in solar energy.  Solar workers already outnumber coal miners 3 to 1, and that trend will continue.  Solar and wind also received a boost a couple of years ago when Congress extended the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit for five years.  The solar ITC will continue at 30 percent for facilities commencing construction before Jan. 1, 2020, adding 220,000 jobs by 2020.  The PTC will remain at 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour credit until it gradually phases out by Jan. 1, 2020, adding 100,000 jobs to the economy.  Local businesses, architects and manufacturers already have started to build our clean energy economy.  We know how to do it through solar energy, which has seen prices drop by 80 percent since 2009, and with energy efficiency, which is the lowest-cost source of energy.

“America should not take a back seat to others on clean energy jobs and the challenges posed by the changing climate.  While America previously led the way on the international climate accord with nearly 200 countries including China and India committing to reduce carbon pollution to help preserve the planet for our children and grandchildren, Trump now cedes that leadership role, costs us jobs and passes along higher costs to America’s families – a poor legacy indeed.”

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