Amid devastating hurricanes, historic flooding, epic wildfires, and the Trump administration's ongoing war on climate science, a newly introduced bill is receiving accolades for offering a bold blueprint to ditch fossil fuels and create an equitable transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
This bill should be posted far and wide. Letters to the editor of local papers should bring it to the attention of everyone. Tulsi Gabbard is leading the way on the most critical issue of our time. We’re running out of time to give a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.
I agree. Just imagine if Green energy were given the same investments and corporate handouts as the fossil fuel industries!
Nothing in human history suggests we will fail to use all fossil fuel.
Pretty much no one is willing to think about what happens next.
The Kochs extracting the last tanker full, then heading to the awaiting chariot racers and cheering crowds at the Daytona 500, will make for a great TEEVEE spectacle. Vroom, Vroom, Vroom, indeed.
With people like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris in the Senate and Tulsi Gabbard, Ro Khana and Pramila Jayapal in the House, to name but a few, there is a solid leadership nucleus in place, around which we can install our support team in 2018/19 and again in 2020/21.
But it will take a solid effort to generate a strong team of true progressives, with of each of us shouldering our share of the work load within any of the progressive organizations here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/s4p?source=bnc
There is no time to be lost!
I doubt, that we would exist as a functioning society long enough to do that.
If this bill has the words “Climate Change” in it, the MSM will not touch it.
CNN, MSNBC, Fox News etc. have 24 hour a day coverage of these hurricanes and wild fires, but never a mention of climate change.
“Just Say NO To Fossil Fuels” –
“If we could turn back time …” What would we do?
In reflecting back on that and California’s efforts to put electric cars on the road which
they did successfully, only to see thousands of them leased and loved – and then
destroyed by the industry which didn’t want to invest in electric cars. Thousands and
thousands of them were crushed despite the fact that those leasing them – and a long
list of other potential customers – wanted to buy them.
See: “Who Killed The Electric Car?” – a documentary likely available at your library.
Had the entire nation heard the story and refused to move their own gasoline driven cars
anywhere until that ruling was rescinded, where might we be now?
How many of us are still supporting Capitalism by paying for cable services which only
offer us a majority of programming we don’t want and often object to because of the
violent content of the programs and the attempt to move pornography Into much of the
How many of us object to Verizon and Comcast – who are making BILLIONS$$$$$$$
every year from selling violent pornography on the internet – objected to the FCC permitting
both of these companies to expand? And to continue to rip off their customers with the
help of the FCC?
What if we were all willing to pull the plug on cable TV?
And so on and so on …
It is only because we are not united in actions as citizens and labor that the few can continue
to control and dictate to the many.
OFF FOSSIL FUELS …
Specifically, the bill calls for (pdf) a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, including pipelines, exploration, and import or export terminals; ends fossil fuel subsidies and directs those funds instead to the clean energy transition; funds weatherization for low-income communities; extends tax credits for wind and solar; bans crude oil and LNG exports; and supports workers by “prioritiz[ing] maximizing employment opportunities [in the renewable sector] for fossil fuel workers displaced in the transition to renewable energy, and residents of areas identified as Environmental Justice.”
“By investing in green technologies and ending corporate hand-outs to the fossil fuel industry, we can grow the economy, create good jobs, and protect our environment. The promise of a clean energy economy is one of skilled, good-paying jobs, advanced and sustainable infrastructure, and clean and safe neighborhoods,” Gabbard said.
“If the federal government does not act now and bring people together to solve this challenge,” Gabbard warned, “we will fail to protect future generations of Americans from the devastating economic and environmental consequences of climate change.”
Now this is something Paul Ryan can really get behind. No doubt he will move it along as fast a possible for a full vote in the House.
And now back to reality. We have to stop Mitch McConnell’s “dirty energy” bill (Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017) which is making its way through Senate. If that passes intact Tulsi Gabbard is going to have to come up with a new game plan. All hands on deck to fight that bill.
This bill does everything except win.
To achieve 100% clean energy we need to go after the medium-hanging fruit, the things that individual profit-making corporations aren’t quite willing to fund to get going.
We’ve done the correct thing before. Once upon a time back in the dark ages of the 1980s, photovoltaic power cost 100 times as much as oil-fueled electric turbine power. R&D brought the price down. Then, finally, companies started taking risks.
Once upon a time, Denmark plunged into offshore wind turbine R&D. The net effect upon their national economy was wonderful.
Tulsi Gabbard’s bill picks up brownie point after brownie point for hitting all the little needs, and then misses the POINT completely.
If the US can build buildings that collect solar heat, that store the solar heat and that heat themselves up to 68 degrees at 6:00 a.m. every winter morning, then the US will dominate that market. Also, most solar heat jobs will have to be local, and we like good-paying jobs, right? So, we need that R&D.
The same goes for generating solar-based nighttime and cloudy day electricity. Probably solar thermal storage will win this technological race, but we need to run all the other horses too: hydropumping and temporarily deferring the use of dam hydropower, enormous hydrogen fuel cells, long-term storage of cow power,… It’s a trillion dollar market and we need the future jobs.
Ditto for transit R&D. Isn’t Congress embarrassed by that gridlock, not the one inside the Capitol Dome but the one outside the Capitol at 5:00 p.m.? We need 90% less lifetime energy use in our transit system including freeway construction, 90% less gridlock too and 99.9% fewer traffic fatalities.
Sorry, Tulsi. How about something that (a) works and (b) disrupts large corporate donor monopolies through innovation?
Great strategy for 2018. Every populist candidate that leads with this bill and with HR676 will provide themselves with a solid platform to develop a leading edge that will be hard to compete against. Large majorities of people want our government to tackle climate change and provide everyone with quality access to health care. With these as a bases for a concrete platform, even with gerrymandered districting, the populist agenda just might carry the day. Hopefully, we’ll have such candidates and if we are fortunate to have them, we will have to do all we can to get out the vote.
I’m generally against knee jerk reactive legislation but if it takes a catastrophic hurricane season to get the national legislators off their dead corporate asses then have at it. These are only a taste of what will become commonplace in thirty years. Meanwhile the western forests, desiccated by a dry summer, burn on unnoticed.
If you are right then half the world’s human population is doomed, and it will be just as bad on the rest of the flora and fauna of earth. That is if we stop using fossil combustion right now. Forget about the storms of wind and fire, people do not grow crops in combat zones.
A study published in January 2016 shows that solar and wind can provide the great majority of electrical generation at a cost no higher than today’s.
"The US could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 80% below 1990 levels within 15 years just by using renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, according to a former government research chief.
The nation could do this using only technologies available right now, and by introducing a national grid system connected by high voltage direct current (HVDC) that could get the power without loss to those places that needed it most, when they needed it.
So they modelled the US weather on timescales of one hour over divisions of the nation as small as 13 square kilometres to see what costs and demand and carbon dioxide emissions would be, and how easily renewable power could meet the demand.
They reasoned that even though wind turbines are vulnerable to periods of calm and that solar energy sources don’t do much in rainy weather or at night, there would always be some parts of the country that could be generating energy from a renewable source."
Have you ever heard of batteries?
Try asking a real climate scientist. Virtually every real climate scientist will tell you that main cause of global warming is accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Soot emissions also contribute. The oceans? The oceans absorb about 90% of the warming due to greenhouse gases. The sun? Absolutely no correlation with changes in solar radiation? Volcanoes? They can have a cooling effect from tiny particles released in the atmosphere. The bottom line is you are spreading nonsense on the internet. At least you have a lot of company.
The grid already has 100% hot backup for the largest generator on the local grid. Like a nuclear power plant. It needs 100% backup on hot standby. Because they trip off unpredictably.
Next, wind and solar in most places, with a large enough area, nearly never goes to zero quickly or unpredictably. as mentioned below.
When we are talking a 100% solar and wind based system, we really do want 100% backup in the worst case scenarios. Guess what? it’s really cheap. Gas turbines which we overbuilt for fracked gas, can sit in cold storage for a century and cost 500$ per KW. Solar and wind are very predictable, so we will have hours probably days to take those generator out of cold storage and start them up.
So what’s the point? fuel. Gas turbines are cheap to build, but ghastly expensive to fuel. Emergency reserve generators run about 3% capacity factor in the USA. Three percent! 97% of the time they are off. If we only reduce fossils use by 97%, I’ll be thrilled. In fact if we reduce it that much, we can supply that from fuels from wastes. 100% renewable.
Here’s a good link with studies to back it up:
How much backup generation or storage does a wind farm require and how does that compare to conventional generation?
So… food for thought.
I certainly hope, with all my heart, that you are correct and that all this effort to move from combustion created energy is unnecessary but in truth how can this effort be anything but a good thing. I have seen the results of a major oil spill and live with the pollution of a major city. Removing the causes of these health hazards can only come up as a plus no matter how it affects the fossil fuel industry’s bottom line.