Should Elon Musk, and companies like his, be scared of a president Trump? The answer is more complicated than meets the eye. There is a chance that Trump could just leave renewable energy industry alone and not change a thing, or he could help oil and gas by issuing executive orders to hamper renewable energy growth. This would outright kill other industries, but the benefit of renewable energy is just that–it’s renewable.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2013
When it comes to forward thinking companies, Elon Musk is the head of the top two, Tesla and SpaceX. Between Tesla’s vision of all cars being fully electric and SpaceX’s determination to get us to Mars, Musk has single-handedly advanced human civilization. It is uncertain what the next four years could bring for both companies and the “future” industry as a whole. We all know Trump’s stance on big oil and gas, but his stances on renewable energy is still kind of shaky.
It is entirely possible that Trump could strip the tax credits for renewable energy and drive up the cost of purchase. There are some items, like a home solar system, that right now could get a 30% tax rebate for the cost of the system. Tesla announced a new solar roof that would benefit from that tax credit. If Trump takes that credit away, less people could afford to purchase a roof which would end up hurting the renewable energy industry.
“As a matter of physics, it is possible but to what extent it is not clear. Before really pursuing the elimination of fossil fuels we need to very carefully look at the risk involved. As a matter of rule of law, our Congress needs to speak on that and not just a federal agency.” – Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump Campaign energy adviser and potentially the head of the EPA
While sustainable energy could outlast President Trump, there is a growing congressional support from both sides. Surprisingly, renewable energy PAC money went to 34 House and 19 Senate Republicans more than the Democrats this year. 34 House and 19 Senate Republicans With over 300,000 jobs now in the industry, it is becoming harder to deny that it exists. Renewable energy has benefited largely from the technological revolution we are a part of today. Only time will truly tell what will happen, but look to fellow billionaires like Musk to challenge Trump on his renewable energy plans.