There's a lot of rhetoric and extremism out there around almost every issue, including energy policy. With all the noise, it can be hard to separate the fact from folly.
Grounded in Fact is for people who are looking for a more balanced, reasonable discourse on issues ranging from divestment to the “Keep It in the Ground” movement.
The Keep It in the Ground (KIITG) activists have been surprisingly candid about their real objectives in recent weeks.
Divestment advocates should take heed: the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), one of the earliest and biggest proponents of divestment, is reconsidering its stance in the wake of a tremendous budget shortfall generated by their social activism investing strategy.
The “Keep It in the Ground” activists have been making a lot of noise in their effort to shut down Enbridge Line 5, the critical pipeline system that brings in light crude and natural gas liquids (NGL) from Canada to help Michigan and the Great Lakes region meet its energy needs. But recently, other voices have been making themselves heard, including elected officials, business organizations, local and national unions, and even the media.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ administration has announced that talks with automakers to create a voluntary electric vehicle (EV) plan have failed to reach an agreement, meaning that the state’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate will move forward. Such a ZEV mandate would force automakers to sell a certain percentage of ZEVs a year.
Unfortunately, as happened with the oil and gas overhaul bill, this rule is being pushed through without proper consultation with all of the affected parties. Although such a mandate would impact consumers statewide, there is currently only a single hearing scheduled—which will be held in an affluent Denver suburb.
When it comes to recent pipeline decisions, all too often it’s not a case of “letting the perfect crowd out the good,” but “letting the nonexistent crowd out the great.”
Following the denial of yet another pipeline permit in New York state, National Grid—the nation’s second largest utility—has stopped processing requests for new natural gas hookups in New York City.
This is the second utility to put a hold on natural gas permits in the greater New York City area in two months. Last March, Con Edison imposed a moratorium on new natural gas hookups in Westchester County, just north of New York City, because it would soon face more demand for gas “than the existing interstate system can bring into our area.”
It’s Infrastructure Week, and one of the few things that Americans can agree upon is that the country’s infrastructure needs to be updated and expanded. But the eternal question of “who pays?” has created a divide in state and federal lawmakers between those who want to start charging electric vehicle (EV) owners for their use of the nation’s roads and those who want to continue—or even expand—EV owners’ unfair privileges.
Like many states, Michigan is in dire need of infrastructure upgrades.
In its 2018 Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Michigan a D+ and recommended “upgrading energy pipelines” among several measures to “meet future needs, avoid energy disruptions, and lower the risk of future increased energy costs.”
A Washington state appeals court threw out the conviction of “valve-turner” Ken Ward ruling, “the trial court erred in preventing Ward from introducing evidence in support of his necessity defense,” thereby violating his constitutional rights.
But according to The New York Times, that’s not entirely true, because unless people are going to carry their groceries home in their hands, the paper or cloth bags they use instead are actually worse for the environment, as counterintuitive as that may sound.