Twitter is fun, BUT: have you ever attended a 5+ hour local City Council meeting???
Currently in the part of the meeting where councilmembers try to pawn off meeting obligations on one another...
Now we are being informed that there is a new invasive mosquito in our county which can be a vector for diseases like, Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika.

To which I think: did you know that climate change is a key driver of this?….
And now, for the main event: energy code amendments for new buildings!

Should Santa Barbara ban gas in new construction, as 40 other cities in California have already done?

Some facts being dropped on the folks who fell for the propaganda messages from SoCalGas' front group.

The building sector is ready to be electrified, because 25% of US homes are ALREADY all electric.
And for those people who think we are going to use "renewable" gas...

There isn't enough. There will never be enough.
The Energy & Climate Manager is doing a FANTASTIC job of laying out the facts.

SoCalGas's front group is lying to the public.
Now one of our councilmembers asks some rather uninformed questions. He cannot seem to believe the numerous studies that show electricity is cheaper.

Yes, electricity is cheaper than fossil gas. Because new electric technology is much more efficient.…
Ignorant councilmember...
- Overstates cost of induction. I just bought a new induction stove. It was $1300. Google it. MANY gas stoves are $1300.
- Claims you need new pans (NO SIR - many, many pans work)
- Then he says it's "not a benefit for me, it's for my children."
SoCalGas says we need gas infrastructure and there is "LOTS" of renewables gas. Spreading more misinformation with our money, which we pay to them because they are a monopoly company.

While mispronouncing "decarbonize" -- shockingly, he has no idea what that means.
Here's some actual facts.


"There's lots of natural gas... uh... renewable." He almost forgot his own talking points.…
Councilmember Sneddon takes the opportunity to ask a question to this SoCalGas lobbyist who claims he is not a "lobbyist": "Were you aware of these text messages that were being sent out to people with this misinformation?"…
Sending some love out to my local electric utility @SCE tonight, which showed up to speak up in favor of the gas ban for new buildings.

See: electric utilities CAN be a force for good! They have a lot to gain from electrification (if they can just figure that out...)
Now the Executive Director of the C4BES (SoCalGas astroturf group -- a gentleman I cannot assume lives in Santa Barbara) accuses the staff of spreading misinformation... Then goes on to spread more misinformation himself.
OKAY FRIENDS I AM UP NEXT! Right after a straight up climate denier...
And yes... I'm still listening. Honestly this is kind of fascinating!
Loving all the local residents who have electrified their homes sharing their positive experiences with the Council!

Looks like the misinformation texting campaign BACKFIRED on SoCalGas. The supporters are out in force!
An architect from my neighborhood chimes in: "after the last four years we have all had enough of alternative facts." Throwing some shade at the gas lobbyists no doubt still listening in. 🔥🔥🔥
Our very tired Mayor just tried to end the comments... Didn't work. I totally get it -- she is 8 hours in! But the reason why we are all up so late is because of the misinformation spread by the gas company.
Now we have an expert from @RockyMtnInst -- they are doing some of the best work, alongside @SierraClub, on building electrification!
Now a real piece of work comes on and calls me "Miss Stokes," goes after me and says "I'm not a scientist, that I'm a policymaker" (HA! Cannot get his facts straight.)

I imagine he is paid by the gas company to personally attack me.
For those wondering, here are the facts:
- It's Dr. Stokes
- I have a PhD from MIT
- I am a scientist
Some concluding thoughts. We talk a lot about cities leading the way on climate action, but I got to say they are pretty vulnerable to misinformation campaigns. And they don't have a lot of resources. This isn't really the optimal place to make climate policy.
Okay we are getting CLOSE to a motion...
Staff will return with an all-electric requirement via REACH code for new buildings, and a look at incentives for existing buildings, to work with workforce transition, with particularly attention to outreach and a full and robust conversation about exemptions.

And that's a wrap, folks. Local climate action in ACTION!

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More from @leahstokes

21 Dec 20
We have an energy bill with some climate flourishes, folks! Hopefully passed and signed into law soon. What's in the stimulus bill?
- Energy Policy Act
- Energy for the Environment Title

Text here:…

Now, I'll break down key provisions in this THREAD...🧵
Big top lines:
- HFC phaseout 85% by 2035
- 35 billion on energy RD&D
- Energy tax extenders
- Reforms + extensions for DOE programs
- Electricity bill assistance for renters
- Permitting improvements for renewables on fed lands
- Efficiency, including fed buildings

The HFC phaseout was difficult to negotiate and is probably the biggest climate piece.

HFCs are potent GHGs. In the global the Kigali amendment, countries have agreed to phase them out. This US commitment will help the globe avert 0.5 °C of warming.…
Read 11 tweets
21 Dec 20
"The Energy Act of 2020" was in the stimulus bill, which just became a law. There's lots in there:
- HFC phase out by 85% by 2035
- Extensions of ITC/PTC tax credits for offshore wind, solar, wind, etc.
- $35 bn for energy R&D
- Much more

Proper thread tomorrow...
Evidently Trump signed the continuing resolution after midnight, not the bill. So... We've got another day to wait! But this is fingers crossed happening.
I'm hearing bill text will come out in a few hours. So stay tuned for some more key highlights in a thread once it does!
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov 20
Let's start a silver-linings-on-climate thread...

1) Oil and gas companies are going bankrupt at a record pace.…
2) Fox News is out there talking about how voters are very worried about climate change.
3) In Ohio, Columbus voted to be powered by 100% clean energy by 2023!…
Read 13 tweets
4 Nov 20
The funny thing about being a political scientist is that most of your friends are also political scientists and they are all about 4 hours ahead of everyone else in terms of reading the results and freaking out and...

My view is that we pretty much have to win PA to win. That is my view. It assumes:
- we lose OH
- we win AZ
- we lose both second districts
- we win MI and WI

If we win one of the second districts, we can lose PA... But I ain't banking on one of those.
So I guess how you should feel is based on your expectation of Biden winning Pennsylvania...
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep 20
Carbon pricing has dominated climate policy debates for decades. But the solution is ineffective and politically toxic.

We need standards, investments and justice to meet this crisis at its scale.

My latest in @BostonReview with @mmildenberger. 🧵...…
Here are some facts about carbon prices, in the wild:
- they cover 22% of our global emissions, but most are riddled with loopholes
- most prices are way too low to drive meaningful change
- even high prices don’t always change behavior (see: Norway) Image
Carbon pricing should ideally do two things:
1) innovate new technologies
2) reduce emissions

Alas, the evidence suggests it's accomplishing neither goal in practice. Image
Read 13 tweets
14 Sep 20
Today @JoeBiden gave an historic speech about the climate crisis on our doorstep and the terrible fires raging across the West Coast.

This is climate leadership. A 🧵 with excerpts from his speech.
"Over the past two years, the total damage from wildfires has reached nearly $50 Billion in California alone.

This year alone, nearly 5 million acres have burned across 10 states — more acres than the entire state of Connecticut." - @JoeBiden
"Think of the view from the ground, in the smoldering ashes.

Loved ones lost, along with the photos and keepsakes. Spouses and kids praying each night that their firefighting husband, wife, father, and mother will come home. Entire communities destroyed." -@JoeBiden
Read 10 tweets

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