How a Pro-Coal Republican Policymaker Became a Clean Energy Champion

How a Pro-Coal Republican Policymaker Became a Clean Energy Champion

When President Trump appointed Neil Chatterjee to the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2017, the environmental community was worried. As a former energy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, onlookers expected a pro-coal agenda to define Chatterjee’s term as a regulator.  Despite maintaining sympathy for coal communities struggling through the energy transition, Chatterjee says he’s “very bullish on the growth of renewable energy.”  Chatterjee told the Political Climate podcast in a recent interview.

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Study Shows Majority of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Could be Obsolete by 2035

Study Shows Majority of Fossil Fuel Power Plants Could be Obsolete by 2035

A vast majority of fossil fuel power plants will reach the end of their lives by 2035, a new report shows. Experts say that this revelation shows that President-elect Joe Biden’s climate goals aren’t as lofty as they may have once seemed, according to Inside Climate News.

Why This Matters: President-Elect Biden has planned to transition the United States to net zero emissions by 2050 and carbon-free electricity by 2035.

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US Exported Natural Gas Could Worsen Climate Change

US Exported Natural Gas Could Worsen Climate Change

While natural gas has been touted as a solution to the world’s fossil fuel problem, new analysis by NRDC shows that the U.S’ exporting of liquified natural gas (LNG) will only worsen global warming. When looking at the full life cycle emissions of different energy sources, U.S. LNG led to higher emissions than regional sources of LNG, pipeline gas, solar or wind power, and led only to slightly lower emissions than the use of coal. 

Why this Matters:  It seems increasingly clear that new natural gas infrastructure is controversial. Cities are taking action to ban natural gas from new buildings, and chefs are advertising the utility of electric stoves, but more must be done.

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DITCHED:  Is 2020 the Tipping Point for Fossil Fuel Divestment?

DITCHED: Is 2020 the Tipping Point for Fossil Fuel Divestment?

Despite economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of countries, companies and financial institutions are committing to quit coal and are beginning to ditch oil and gas projects, too. 

In this episode of Political Climate’s special DITCHED series, host Julia Pyper speaks to Tim Buckley at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) about what’s driving the increase in fossil fuel exits around the globe, including in historically coal-dependent economies such as China and India.

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San Jose To Become Largest City to Ban Natural Gas for New Construction

San Jose To Become Largest City to Ban Natural Gas for New Construction

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer The city of San Jose, CA will become the largest city in the United States to ban natural gas from all new construction. The San Jose City Council is expected to approve a proposal that forbids natural gas use in new commercial and high-rise residential buildings, expanding an earlier […]

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San Francisco Turns Off the Gas

San Francisco Turns Off the Gas

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to ban natural gas in all new buildings, InsideClimate News reported. By making all new construction electrified, the city will be able to cut emissions from buildings and make its climate goals over the next decades more achievable. 

Why This Matters: Nearly half of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. Burning natural gas accounts for most of those emissions, the city estimates. Burning natural gas is doubly dangerous for the planet. 

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