Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday the Trump administration should take up green energy projects like solar power to grow American jobs.
Carter, a Democrat who has long preached the benefits of solar and wind power, told reporters that he hoped President Donald Trump would consider taking up where his predecessor left off: forcing industrial centers away from fossil fuels and toward solar cells.
“Sometimes there’s a philosophical objection to this by some — I’ll say right-wing Republicans — but he has a high priority of job creation,” Carter said in an interview.
The former president also believes that if blue collar workers can see jobs being created by people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, then they’ll notice how climate skeptics are indirectly working against their industries.
He added “If they just remember the tremendous potential of creating millions of jobs in America just from renewable energy sources, that would be a very good counter-argument to those who oppose the concept of global warming being caused by human activity.”
Trump, meanwhile, has sent mixed signals about so-called man-made global warming — he once called it a “hoax” perpetuated by China to hurt American business; he has since moderated his tone, suggesting in January that climate change is likely a naturally occurring phenomenon.
The former reality TV star — now president — changed his tone on global warming later in January, telling a candidate for his top science adviser position that he agreed global warming had become a “cult movement in the last five or 10 years.”
Trump does appear willing to give at least a hat tip to renewable energy infrastructure, despite his prickly positions against environmental regulations.
Musk, for his part, suggested in early January that Trump’s emphasis on job creation is a good sign for the green energy revolution. The Tesla boss was one of several tech tech entrepreneurs to join Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
Tesla, an electric automaker based out of California, currently employs about 25,000 people across the U.S., and hopes to add another 1,000 at its solar panel factory in Buffalo. Musk intends on producing the bulk of the company’s vehicles within the U.S.
“The President-elect has a strong emphasis on US manufacturing and so do we,” Musk told investors at the time. “We are building the biggest factory in the world right here, creating US jobs.”
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