Columnists: Hans Nilsson, Fourfact

Published on: 18 Jul 2017

Moonwalking – the new US policy

Amazing, isn’t it? That Michael Jackson’s way of walking, that looks as if you are moving forward but in reality sliding backwards, has been transformed into official US industrial policy. When the president and his officials announced that they will leave the Paris agreement, in reality it also means that they are turning their backs on energy efficiency measures.

It means walking away from measures that have the quality to make energy bills lower for US customers, improve productivity in industry and enhance energy security, thereby making the country less dependent on vulnerable fuel supply. Not to mention that it has impact on the environment both locally and globally. Leaving the Paris agreement means they are obviously not interested in having an American role in world market and in global impact.

In particular they are walking away from important job creating parts of the US industry that provides appliances and equipment competitive on the world market. Now they leave this to other countries that will happily fill the void that US industry leaves.

This is however only one symptom on the moonwalking made policy. It is even more revealing when the new deregulation team is made public. This team is primarily composed of people representing business interests from fossil-fuel related companies – either as lobbyists or directly as business leaders. It was an industry that was flourishing yesterday but hardly has any future. They want to “deregulate” in order to milk the last few drops of profit that they can. Of course, and who can blame them for serving their own interests, but what does it have to do with the interest of the country or the future?

It is rare to see a leader cripple his own industry, but that is what happens when the new US standard BAY (Business as Yesterday) replaces BAU (Business as Usual). The rest of us go for BAT (Best Available Technology). If the US wants to move backwards with their strange moves let them do it. There are certainly the same kinds of interests in many other countries but we should not imitate the US style.

Michael Jackson was magical in his moonwalk, entrancing everyone. What is happening to energy policy is that of a trickster. It may fool some today, but there will be a price to pay. Unfortunately for the American people it has to be paid by future generations and not by those who issue the bills today – the political moonwalkers.

The views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of eceee or any of its members.

Other columns by Hans Nilsson