Attacking Carbon Pollution: It’s Transportation’s Turn
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- Dec 23, 2020 10:45 pm GMTDec 23, 2020 9:49 pm GMT
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It’s an article of conventional wisdom that fossil-fueled electric generating stations, and particularly coal plants, are “the” villain in the war against global warming and the resulting climate change. When we’re having 100-year storms annually, and seeing consistent sea-level rise, massive droughts, and record-high ambient temperatures, all but the most hardened climate deniers agree that we have a problem, perhaps one bordering on existential.
Power plants are convenient targets. They’re large, sometimes visible for miles, with massive stacks, cooling towers, substations, visible steam and emissions, and in some cases massive coal piles moved around by bulldozers, ramps and chutes. Yet they’re also essential to our way of life. In 2019, 38% of our electricity was generated from natural gas, 23% from coal, 20% from nuclear plants, and just 17% from renewables, ranging from wind power at 7.3% to hydro at 6.6% and solar at just 1.8% according to the US Energy Information Administration.