Dana Nuccitelli Profile picture
Dec 7 11 tweets 4 min read
Thread 🧵on why I think it's a big mistake for progressives and environmental justice advocates to kill a permitting reform deal in the current lame duck session of Congress. Permitting reform is crucially important for both the climate and frontline communities [1/10]
Everyone agrees we need to speed up the rate at which we build electricity transmission. Otherwise we can't connect new wind & solar to the grid fast enough, and as @JesseJenkins' team found, we would squander 80% of the Inflation Reduction Act's potential emissions cuts [2/10] Image
The IRA would also increase electricity demand in 2030 by incentivizing EVs, electric heat pumps, induction stoves, etc. If we don't speed up our clean energy infrastructure build-out, @JesseJenkins' team found that demand will be met by burning more fossil fuels [3/10] Image
That means more air pollution in frontline communities located near coal power plants. Analyses found that the IRA would save up to 180k lives by phasing out fossil fuel air pollution. Slow clean energy deployment would mean thousands more deaths in frontline communities [4/10]
The concern is that Manchin's deal also makes it easier to build fossil fuel infrastructure. A little bit, but they *already* have the advantage. It's easier to build fossil gas pipelines and drill for oil than to build electric transmission lines and drill for geothermal [5/10]
Permitting reform would level that playing field. And demand for clean energy is exploding as experts project demand for fossil fuels is peaking. 93% of electricity projects waiting in the queue in the US are wind & solar. Clean energy would benefit [6/10] yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/10/permit…
The proposed reforms also wouldn't undermine NEPA or other environmental laws. They would just make some changes to speed up the process. That would give communities less time to weigh in, but they would still have the opportunity to be involved and make their voices heard [7/10]
Opponents have said there are better ways to speed up the process, like the Environmental Justice For All Act. But with Republicans about to take the House and nowhere near 60 supporters in the Senate, that bill has precisely zero chance of being passed [8/10]
In fact, any permitting reform deal will only get *more fossil fuel friendly* in 2023 than what could potentially pass this month. Opposing the current deal is counter-productive because any future deal will only add more provisions that justice advocates dislike [9/10]
There is no better time than the present to pass a permitting reform deal that will help unlock the IRA's potential climate pollution reductions and save lives in frontline communities living near dirty fossil fuel pollution sources. Blowing this opportunity is a mistake [10/10]
Case in point: the critical FERC transmission authority expansions are already being weakened because Republicans don't like them. They'll only be further watered down when Republicans control the House.

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More from @dana1981

Sep 8
An important new study from two dozen experts published in @Nature provides a comprehensive update of the social cost of carbon, finding at $185/ton it's >3.5 times higher than the current federal estimate. My @CC_Yale and 🧵 on the details follow [1/11]
Why it's important: federal agencies have to consider the costs & benefits of proposed regulations. For climate regs, benefits from avoided damages come from the SCC. Bigger SCC = bigger benefit/cost ratios = more aggressive climate rules from agencies like @EPA [2/11]
In other words, if you want the Biden administration to go into climate 'beast mode' with aggressive executive actions including agency climate pollutant regulations, you want the social cost of carbon to be big, reflecting the high costs of long-term climate damages [3/11]
Read 11 tweets
Jun 20
In @CC_Yale today I've got a piece on a new Science study examining what it will take for the US to meet its 50% by 2030 Paris commitment. It's still within reach, but will take major policy accelerations. Article & thread 🧵follow [1/8]:
With two-thirds of the time between 2005 & 2030 having passed, emissions have only fallen about 15% (~1 Gt). The study looked at 7 energy system model scenarios to see what it'll take to reduce US emissions another 35% (~2.3 Gt) below 2005 levels in just the next 8 years [2/8]
About half the cuts (~1.1 Gt) will have to come from the electricity sector – doubling the current rate of wind & solar deployment within the next 4 years or so. Current rates are double those in 2015, so it's feasible, but they've stagnated and will need a policy boost [3/8]
Read 8 tweets
May 4
Carbon dioxide removal has been a hot topic of late, with the @IPCC_CH discussing its critical importance & @stripe coordinating the ~$1B Frontier Fund to purchase CDR from startups. I wrote about CDR for @CC_Yale today. Article & thread 🧵follow [1/12] yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/05/what-y…
Unfortunately, we're not going to meet the Paris targets without CDR. Existing + planned fossil fuel infrastructure alone is enough to blow the 1.5°C carbon budget and eat nearly all of the 2°C budget. The @IPCC_CH noted that CDR serves 3 purposes over different timeframes [2/12]
1) In the short-term, CDR reduces net annual global GHG emissions.

2) In the medium-term it can offset hard-to-abate emissions to help achieve net zero targets.

3) In the long-term it can gradually draw down atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperatures. [3/12]
Read 12 tweets
May 3
Need a break from doomscrolling about the decline of American society? I wrote about the #ElectrifyEverything strategy for @citizensclimate today. My blog post on why and how to electrify, plus a thread 🧵discussing some additional nuances [1/5]:
It’s critical to decarbonize the electricity sector ASAP because marginal demand increase is often supplied by fossil fuels. One recent study found that increased marginal electricity emissions would offset >half the reductions from deploying EVs [2/5]
That's because "underlying these trends is primarily a shift toward greater reliance on coal to satisfy marginal electricity use." So we need to phase out coal quickly, which a #carbonprice would accomplish, or other targeted policies like clean electricity standards [3/5]
Read 5 tweets
Apr 13
We have a new piece by the @citizensclimate Research Team's Jonathan Marshall on the @BudgetHawks report on the emissions-reducing and revenue-generating benefits of a price on carbon pollution. Article and thread 🧵 below [1/5]:
The @BudgetHawks is a non-partisan group led by political and business notables from both sides of the aisle, including budget chiefs and political advisors to Ronald Reagan and both presidents Bush. So they have street cred with many traditional conservatives [2/5]
Using @EnergyInnovLLC modeling, consistent with other analyses they find that Build Back Better climate provisions or a carbon price would be similarly effective in cutting emissions, and with both we could approximately meet our America's Paris commitments [3/5]
Read 5 tweets
Feb 18
As @GernotWagner & @AndrewDessler have recently noted, economic assessments of climate damages have been very conservative because they can only account for impacts we can identify & quantify. In @CC_Yale today I write about an example of a new one 🧵:
Global warming increases rainfall on average because a hotter atmosphere holds more water vapor. Previous climate-economic assessments had concluded that this increase in wetness would benefit the economy, in particular because more rain is beneficial in dry areas.
But that global macro-level view overlooks important regional and temporal impacts. A new @Nature study by @KotzMaximilian, @ALevermann, @Leonie_Climate looked at daily local precipitation data and compared it to regional economic data, which add nuance
Read 7 tweets

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