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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged in a graduation speech at MIT late last week to spend $500m on a campaign focused on persuading state and local governments to speed the closure of the 241 remaining coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and to end the growth of plants that run on natural gas. Blocking natural gas from filling in behind coal will be especially difficult, and Axios’ Amy Harder reported that it was “the fastest-growing energy source last year —accounting for 45% of all such growth — with most regions and many industries turning to the fuel as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil.”
WhyThis Matters: This will be a tall order — with experts believing the cost of replacing the remaining coal capacity with wind and solar power could cost as much as $800 billion in hardware and in addition require $150 billion to increase energy storage capacity. Scientists and environmentalists are increasingly opposed to natural gas as a coal alternative because although natural gas is better, it is not good enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level scientists say would avert the worst climate impacts. It will be interesting to see if any of the Democratic Presidential candidates who do not have specific climate plans pick up on the Bloomberg initiative.
Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement before the announcement, “We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”
Researchers recently conducted an analysis of how trying to meet the Paris Agreement targets would affect energy jobs in 50 countries. They found that action to reach the targets would increase net jobs by about 8 million by 2050, primarily due to gains in the solar and wind industries. Why This Matters: An estimated 18 […]
After years of devastating fire seasons, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced that it aims to move about 10,000 miles of power lines underground to avoid accidental sparks. Why This Matters: Wildfires have continued to become increasingly catastrophic as a result of climate change. Last year’s wildfire season broke records— NIFC reported that […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer For years there’s been a false narrative perpetuated by special interest groups that electric vehicles actually produce more greenhouse gases than the average internal combustion vehicle. However, a new study shows that this is not true — over the entirety of its life cycle, an EV will release fewer […]
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