Looking Back: 2017 Was A Defining Year For The Environment

Under the Trump Administration, the United States witnessed many setbacks for clean energy and environmentalism in 2017. As the past year marked a step back from green initiatives by the White House, the destruction of national preservations, deregulation of fossil fuels, increased oil drilling, and key decisions to dismantle Obama era climate change efforts, the push to promote and install energy efficient technology nationwide became an uphill battle.

As a business and an advocate, we understand the effect these shifts have on your bottom line. Our priority is to help facilities modernize their existing infrastructure and realize sustainability goals that yield equal amounts of cost and energy savings. We hope to continue this mission. To do so, we need to bring awareness to ongoing issues within the green energy movement that threaten our momentum toward a 100% renewable future.

In 2017, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord dedicated to fending off the very worst effects of climate change. This act represented a denouncement of clean energy by a major world power and decreased the urgency of transitioning to energy efficient technology.

In 2017, oil and gas exploration and coal excavation were approved in the Gulf of Mexico and substantial sections of the western United States. In pursuit of “energy dominance,” the Trump Administration has threatened an already devastated zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and set a precedent for wreaking havoc on natural habitats – for the sake of an increasingly detrimental source of energy.

In 2017, the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines overcame regulatory barriers to cut through protected lands – the Dakota Access pipeline now online and pumping oil. In addition to imposing on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota, the pipelines also pose the risk of contaminating drinking water and increasing public health hazards. Validation of these concerns came out of Flint, Michigan, where, in its fourth year, the Flint water crisis made national headlines due to contaminated water caused by mismanaged government decisions. The crisis has been linked to lead exposure in young children and an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Each of these moments in 2017 is a reason to act now in the name of clean energy, in the name of safe and reliable renewable solutions, and in the name of protecting those who have long suffered from outdated practices. In response, people rose up and used their voices to make change. Mayors and governors took the lead in forming the We Are Still In coalition to defy the Paris Accord decision. Activists marched as part of the People’s Climate March in April to challenge the controversial mandates from the White House. And the community of Flint, Michigan brought 50 criminal charges against 15 state officials complicit in tragic fatalities.

We look forward to 2018 because we now see the threats and opportunities more clearly than ever. There are opportunities to help businesses, to help communities, and to help people by talking, sharing, increasing awareness, and understanding the threats we face without clean energy. Now is the time to act. Together, we can achieve economic and environmental goals to reshape our future.

Source: Washington Post

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