Cutting Through the Noise: How Green are EVs?

This summer my (Miro’s) husband and I are planning a road trip from DC to the Finger Lakes and out of curiosity, I was looking at ways to make our trip more sustainable. I stumbled upon this helpful and practical guide of how to prepare your car, home, and even luggage to limit the impact on the planet and it got me thinking about renting an electric car for the trip. That notion opened up an entire can of worms on the internet about whether or not electric cars are actually WORSE for the environment than internal combustion engines (due to the emissions that result from their production) and forced me to question what I thought I knew to be true. I figured if I was confused then others might be as well and I wanted to share this incredibly informative video comparing EVs, hybrids and gas cars from one of my favorite web series, PBS’s Hot Mess to help cut through the noise. 

Why This Matters: Energy and green tech can be really confusing but what we have to remember at all costs is that the sooner we switch to emissions-free sources of energy generation the sooner all of the “energy saving” things we plug into the wall begin to live up to their intended purpose. Transportation took over last year as the biggest source of U.S. GHG emissions but if folks switch to EVs and our power plants are still running on fossil fuels then we’re failing to make progress. If you’re thinking of buying an EV but your utility is slow to bring more renewable energy into its energy mix, see if starting a solar co-op is feasible in your neighborhood (as these two teens did recently in a DC neighborhood).

Up Next

Electric Vehicles Still Charging Ahead

Electric Vehicles Still Charging Ahead

Investment in electric vehicles and their components and infrastructure continue to grow in spite of the pandemic and economic downturn, not to mention the infancy of the market.  According to MarketWatch.com, there is “sky high” investor interest in clean energy and electric vehicle companies.

Why This Matters:  Former Vice President Biden’s new clean energy jobs proposal revives the “cash for clunkers” program but in a way that would juice this market.

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China’s Purchases and Investments In US Energy Are On Their Terms

China’s Purchases and Investments In US Energy Are On Their Terms

President Trump trumpeted his trade deal with China, but so far it has been a bust, according to The Wall Street Journal — the Chinese have not purchased nearly the amount of energy (in terms of total dollars) as they promised — only $2B in oil and gas purchases against a commitment of $25B for this year.

Why This Matters:  Trump’s energy policy is a colossal failure, especially when measured against his outlandish campaign promise of complete energy independence.

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Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines Stymied, BUT SCOTUS Gives Other Projects a Pass

Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines Stymied, BUT SCOTUS Gives Other Projects a Pass

A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled yesterday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down and empty all its oil until the government completes an environmental review of the pipeline’s impacts, giving the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies downstream, a huge victory.  Similarly, late in the day, the Supreme Court refused to overturn the order of a district judge that shut down construction of parts of the Keystone XL pipeline so it is also blocked for now.

Why It Matters:  The Dakota and Keystone XL news is greatly tempered by the fact that numerous other pipeline projects can go ahead despite their inadequate permit unless they are individually challenged in court and blocked.

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