PCAP’s Clean Energy Talking Points

To prevent global climate change from reaching catastrophic levels, the world must achieve net-zero-carbon by mid-century. That should be the goal of the United States, too, as the world’s largest economy and as the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions today. The Green New Deal introduced early in the 116th Congress frames one set of goals and ideas to achieve net-zero-carbon and to do it in socially just ways. The good news is that carbon-free energy resources already are making substantial strides in the economy and they have been for several years. In 2017, 10% of U.S. energy came from renewable resources; 17% of the nation’s electric power came from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind resources. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that 20% of the nation’s electric power will come from renewables in 2020. It predicts that non-hydro renewables will be the fastest-growing source of power generation in the U.S. at least through 2021. Nevertheless, fossil fuels still dominate America’s energy mix. Coal and natural gas will provide    61% of the nation’s electricity in 2020, down only 2%

February 18th, 2019|talking points|

23 Charts: Challenges Ahead for a Green New Deal

The Green New Deal proposal in Congress has caused a great deal of buzz, some of it enthusiastic, some of it skeptical and some of it negative. But we should be asking this: If not the Green New Deal, or something like it, then what are our options? There should be no debate about the fact that the United States and the rest of the world must act boldly and quickly to pull back from far more disastrous impacts of climate change than we are experiencing today. This post offers a set of slides that show some of the good news and the bad news about our response to climate change so far. Many of the illustrations come from Statista, a service that analyzes data from more than 22,500 sources to spot trends on a wide variety of topics including energy and climate. Others come from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications, PoliticoPro and other data organizations. What we see is this: Although climate change must be addressed by every nation, the United States is in the driver's seat

Vote on the Green New Deal? Game on!

By William S. Becker Some of the Republican Party’s leaders say they love the Green New Deal – not because of its merits, but because they think it will keep Democrats from taking control of Congress and the White House less than two years from now. Sadly, their reaction is not about the jobs an ambitious transition to clean energy would create, or the illnesses and deaths it would prevent, or the need to keep weather disasters from getting worse. As usual, it’s all about the next election. Take Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for example. “Let’s vote on the Green New Deal!” he tweeted about the plan unveiled last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey. “Americans deserve to see what kind of solutions far-left Democrats are offering to deal with climate change.” Sen. Mitch McConnell announced impishly that he’ll schedule a vote on the Deal just to see how many Democrats have the guts to vote for it. The Democrats' first response should be to ask the Republican leaders what their plan is, besides pretending