A total of 640 businesses and investors sent a letter to President-elect Trump and Congress on Tuesday, strongly urging continued investment in the clean energy sector. The letter, coordinated by the nonprofit group Ceres, which works with investors and companies to promote sustainability, contains big tech names like Adobe, SalesForce, eBay, HP, SolarCity, Symantec and Tesla.
In addition, the list includes many skiing companies, which are worried about losing their business in a warming world, eco-aware retailers like Patagonia and Levi Strauss & Company.
The letter states:
“We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness.”
The signatories each pledged to work “to realize the Paris [Climate] Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius,” or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the letter states.
The letter is aimed squarely at the incoming Trump administration, which will be comprised of officials who have vowed to undo President Obama’s climate and clean energy agenda.
Trump has nominated climate change deniers to head the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department, and has promised to revive the coal industry, without laying out a plan for doing so.
The signatories of this letter, though, have other plans.
Nancy Pfund, founder of DBL Partners, which was an early investor in Tesla and Solar City, told Mashable in an interview that the incoming administration should welcome the job creation by businesses that are pouring money into clean technologies.
“This should be music to Trump’s ears,” she said, noting Tesla’s recent job growth in California and Nevada, for example.
Pfund said many of the leading renewable energy states, such as Iowa and Texas, are governed by Republicans who have seen that clean energy can be a boost to their economy.
A separate report, also released on Tuesday, found that the demand for energy among retailers and tech companies is expected to increase to 60 gigawatts by 2025 — or about enough electricity to power 43 million homes. The report also stated that these companies will locate job-creating facilities in states that have favorable policies for renewables.
The new analysis, from the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council, ranks all 50 U.S. states for the first time, based on the ease with which America’s most recognizable brands can procure domestic renewable energy such as solar and wind for their operations.
Iowa came out on top, with the red states of Texas and Ohio ranking in the top 10.
“Access to low-cost renewable energy is a critical part of our economic development strategy,” said Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, in a press release. “These job-creating businesses cite our access to low-cost renewable energy as a major reason for locating in Iowa.”
“Every Iowa wind turbine means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
The conventional wisdom holds that Trump is going to take office on Jan. 20 and quickly proceed to dismantle federal policies that promote renewable energy, such as funding for the energy department’s venture capital fund known as ARPA-E.
Pfund isn’t panicking, though, given the support of governors and the economic realities that are driving costs of wind and solar power down
“I’m not as worried about political policies impinging on the transition here because really the economics rule,” she said. “Of course it would be nice to have everything in sync and to have a cohesive energy strategy, but sometimes that is doable and sometimes it is not.”
“The transition is inevitable because the costs are going to be more than competitive and the consumer demand for a no sacrifice approach to energy is only going to get bigger.”