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Clean Power Washington DC skyline

Published on November 28th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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Good News, Bad News For Renewable Energy In Washington, DC

November 28th, 2018 by  



There is good news and there is bad news regarding renewable energy in Washington, DC this week. On the local level, the DC City Council unanimously approved a plan for the city to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2032. Only California has a more aggressive policy. It is looking to go 100% renewable by 2030. At the federal level, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to approve the appointment of yet another renewable energy skeptic to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

100% Renewable In DC

Washington DC skylineFirst the good news. The city council for Washington, DC has approved legislation that will establish 2032 as the year when it will derive all its electricity from renewable sources. The plan was first proposed last month by councilor Mary Cheh. It must be voted on again next month and then approved by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in order to become final. The vote this week was unanimous, according to the Washington Post.

The members of the city council say they are acting in part to illustrate the inaction on renewables by the federal government. Just yesterday, alleged president Donald Trump dismissed all the climate science in the world with one simple phrase. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “The federal government is literally not believing its own reports,” Denise Robbins of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network told the Post, making it “all the more important for our local leaders to take the reins” in addressing climate change.

Power Outage At FERC

bernard McNamee FERC candidate

The same self-proclaimed “leader of the free world” won a victory in the Senate this week when the Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13-10 to recommend his appointment of Koch whore Bernard McNamee to fill a vacancy on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamee gave a speech to the Texas Public Policy Foundation — a fossil fuel front group — in which he said, “Renewables, when they come on and off, it screws up the whole…the physics of the grid. So when people want to talk about science, they ought to talk about the physics of the grid and know what real science is, and that is how do you keep the lights on? And it is with fossil fuels and nuclear.”

Joe Manchin, the fake Democrat from West Virginia, was the only member of his party to vote with the Republicans on the committee. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the committee, called McNamee’s statement “unfortunate” but voted for him anyway. “I do expect…he will be fuel-neutral and not a champion for one resource over another,” she said. Sure, Lisa. And Bart Kavadrunk, whose nomination to the Supreme Court you failed to oppose, will not be a hardline advocate for the pernicious brand of conservatism promoted by the Koch Brothers for the past 50 years.

If confirmed by the full Senate, McNamee can be expected to faithfully follow party dogma when it comes to favoring coal, natural gas, and nuclear over wind and solar during the years he will be a member of FERC. On balance, Washington, DC will be a shining beacon for every other American city to follow while renewables will have to continue battling entrenched political opposition at the federal level.

One could argue that the forces of darkness have won this round, although the continuing drop in the cost of renewables may be more than even Koch henchmen like McNamee can overcome. 
 





 

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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. His motto is, "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away!" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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