In Case You Missed It – July 2, 2020
House passes $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill
“…the Moving Forward Act “shows that everything in our country is connected, from the education of our children to the technologies of the future to the road map to get there.”
The Moving Forward act is a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that focuses on reducing carbon pollution and spending on highways, transit and other transportation programs. Is this bill likely to make it through the Senate? Mmmm, probably not. But it does show where certain lawmakers stand on climate change which is useful knowledge as elections loom.
Climate Change Plan Rollout
“The proposals would mandate electric utilities be net-zero emitters of greenhouse gases by 2040 and automakers produce only electric cars by 2035. The 538-page plan also backs placing a price on carbon emissions, imposing tougher methane limits and boosting energy efficiency in buildings. Solar and wind tax credits would be extended through 2025, and the tax credit for electric vehicles would be expanded.”
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (which POW met with last year to talk about how they could help protect the Outdoor State!) proposed a plan to get the U.S. economy’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050––which if you haven’t noticed, is also what we’re working toward in our policy agenda. So we’re pretty stoked to see this plan gaining traction. There are obviously still hurdles ahead, but we’re getting the ball rolling!
At the Core of the Climate Crisis
“For decades, people have asked me why the oil companies don’t just become solar companies. They don’t for the same reason that Facebook doesn’t behave decently: an oil company’s core business is digging stuff up and burning it, just as Facebook’s is to keep people glued to their screens. Digging and burning is all that oil companies know how to do—and why the industry has spent the past thirty years building a disinformation machine to stall action on climate change. It’s why—with the evidence of climate destruction growing by the day—the best that any of them can offer are vague pronouncements about getting to “net zero by 2050”—which is another way of saying, “We’re not going to change much of anything anytime soon.” (The American giants, like ExxonMobil, won’t even do that.)”
Encouraging oil companies to change their ways seems effective, but the most progress will be made when governments and the financial industry create massive action rather than “gentle course correction.” For more, check out how banks are supporting renewable energy, but boardrooms are still heavily linked with the fossil fuel industry.
Climate change is a racial justice problem
“You can’t build a just and equitable society on a planet that’s been destabilized by human activities, they argue. Nor can you stop the world from warming without the experience and the expertise of those most affected by it.
Racism is “inexorably” linked to climate change, said Penn State meteorologist Gregory Jenkins, because it dictates who benefits from activities that produce planet-warming gases and who suffers most from the consequences.”
Marginalized communities are the communities hardest hit by climate change––and it’s only expected to get worse. Unless of course, we start addressing the overlaps between inequality and climate change. Looking for some bonus reading? Check out this great piece on why representation in the outdoors matters.
With Much of the World’s Economy Slowed Down, Green Energy Powers On
“The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has many businesses reeling, and the oil and gas industry in particular has been rocked by plummeting prices that have forced it to drastically cut production and lay off workers.
But producers of clean energy are pushing hard to get their projects up and running. They want to start making money on their investments as soon as possible, and while demand for electricity has been reduced by the impact of the virus, renewable power tends to win out over polluting sources in electricity systems because of low costs and favorable regulatory rules.”
Despite setbacks from COVID-19, clean energy still moves forward. Demand for these projects are going up while costs for renewables are going down. Renewables are looking resilient, despite some interruptions. Clean energy future, here we come! And check out more about home states are making big moves on energy storage.