Politics A modern electric grid is crucial to reach our clean energy climate goals
Texas governor says power grid fixed; experts cite problems
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Despite experts who say Texas' power grid remains vulnerable, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott declared Tuesday that new reforms “fix all of the flaws” that caused February's deadly winter blackout that left more than 4 million people without power in subfreezing weather. He was joined by Republicans who defended it as a good deal for consumers, even though they gave no direct financial relief to families who were stuck with high energy bills or lost income as the lights and heat stayed off for days.Signing into law two sweeping overhauls in response to one of the largest power outages in U.S.
President Biden has issued a bold pledge to cut the greenhouse gas emissions that increasingly endanger our livelihoods, health and security - reducing U.S. emissions by 50 percent below 2005 levels over the next decade. In his recent address to Congress, the president showcased how his infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, will help prioritize investments toward a sustainable, clean energy economy. In particular, Biden highlighted building new electric transmission lines as central to U.S. goals, declaring, "the American Jobs Plan will create jobs that lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid."
Daily on Energy: Climate hawks ‘anxious’ their moment is slipping
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 ANXIETY: Climate hawks are getting “anxious” that the window for passing big climate legislation is closing as infrastructure negotiations with Republicans drag on. “OK, I’m now officially very anxious about climate legislation. I’ll admit I’m sensitive from the Obama climate abandonment, but I sense trouble,” Sen.
This commitment to modernizing our electricity transmission is crucial. Reducing greenhouse gases will require ramping up renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydropower, deploying electric vehicles and cutting methane from natural gas. But transmission lines must be built to deliver this cleaner electricity to customers who often live distant from the cleanest, low-cost energy sources.
Our current electricity grid is old and outdated, getting a dreadful C- rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers this year. We must update our transmission system to be more resilient against more frequent severe weather events climate change is causing, better able to repel cyber-attacks and to carry more clean energy so our citizens have reliable sources of power.
Daily on Energy: US growth in natural gas exports could challenge Biden agenda
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Header 2020 LNG EXPORT TENSIONS: Whether the Biden administration likes it or not, the U.S. solidified its position last year — even amid a pandemic — as a top exporter of natural gas. The International Gas Union’s World LNG Report, released this morning, finds the U.S. exported 44.
But here is a sobering reality - these ambitious clean energy goals will not be successful without a strong commitment by federal and state governments, and local communities, to support the construction of necessary transmission infrastructure. The "not in my backyard" sentiment, often stoked by misinformation campaigns, ends up placing barriers to creating long-term energy and climate solutions.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson recently held a conversation on climate change and energy technology at the New York Economic Club with Bill Gates, where transmission infrastructure was called out as one of the key challenges to a clean energy future. "There are days when I see...the pace of innovation and I feel, wow we can do this," Gates said. "Then there are days when you look at like how [hard] it is to get transmission permitted in the U.S. and how that is just a conundrum that we don't have a clear plan for."
Researchers win $4.4 million in grants for projects using AI to take on climate change
Microsoft is a partner in the work, along with universities and national labs around the country.The institute put out its first call for papers last spring to identify ways to use AI to address COVID-19. This year the focus was climate change.
He was referring in part to a specific project underway in Maine - the New England Clean Energy Connect line - that will bring 1,200 megawatts of clean, low-cost baseload hydropower from Canada into Maine and New England. Experts at thehave found the project will cut about 10 percent of the region's carbon pollution emissions from electricity, the equivalent of reducing all the pollution from 700,000 cars every year. Just as important, the Maine independent experts that the project would save consumers in New England $388 million each year in electricity costs over the next 15 years.
The New England project is a leading example of the clean energy infrastructure upgrades being championed by Biden, since the hydropower is an on-demand but clean back-up source for renewable energy - when wind isn't blowing hard enough or sun isn't shining enough to satisfy all electric needs.
Construction on the New England power lines has begun, but a major new obstacle has been placed in its path. In a case of moving the goalposts after the game has started, project opponents, funded in part by fossil fuel companies with legacy energy interests, have put a measure on the 2021 Maine ballot to retroactively prohibit the siting of a crucial segment of the line. The measure will also require an affirmative vote of the Maine legislature on all large-scale future transmission projects.
Overnight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale
TGIF! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin. Reach Zack Budryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at @BudrykZack. Today we're looking at Biden's climate agenda in Europe, a new White House decision on protections for the Tongass National Forest and the administration's first proposedToday we're looking at Biden's climate agenda in Europe, a new White House decision on protections for the Tongass National Forest and the administration's first proposed offshore wind lease.
Opponents are spreading misinformation to Maine voters about the project's environmental impacts, which are minor (two thirds of the line will be built in an existing transmission corridor, while the other one third will pass through land whose primary use is commercial logging). Low-income consumers will particularly benefit due to a, and rural Mainers will benefit from a to bring high speed internet to homeowners that currently aren't well served. If the ballot referendum passes, it will likely cripple this key project and have a chilling effect on the potential for new transmission projects in the region and the nation. This is no way to create a modern electric grid and clean energy economy while meeting the urgent climate change crisis.
Congress should consider legislation to provide greater federal siting authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for projects like these that are clearly in long-term national security, climate protection and consumer interests. A recent National Academy of Scienceson achieving net zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 found that new siting and permitting for transmission must be pursued to "put in place, in a timely fashion, the kind of high-voltage interstate transmission system that is needed for deep decarbonization."
As the president and Congress contemplate investment priorities for a more sustainable energy future, we must come together to support the infrastructure needed to deliver these benefits to consumers, our economy and our climate. America's future investment in infrastructure and the clean energy economy cannot afford to be held captive by roadblocks from narrow, single-interest groups. Our people are counting on action now to lower energy prices, create good jobs and leave a cleaner world to future generations.
Paul Bledsoe is strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute and professorial lecturer at American University's Center for Environmental Policy. He served on the White House Climate Change Task Force under President Bill Clinton.
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm .
TODAY IS TUESDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at email@example.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at @BudrykZack.Today we're looking at the end of infrastructure talks, some tense Senate hearings for the Colonial Pipeline CEO and President Biden's lands agency pick respectively and the signing of weatherization bills in Texas following this year's winter storms.