From: Jim Warren
Two recent studies combine perfectly to indicate why NC WARN is laser-focused on persuading or requiring Duke Energy to immediately stop its massive expansion of fracked gas and stop holding back the Clean Energy Revolution.
HEAT RECORDS & TIPPING POINTS: NASA and NOAA report that June, 2016 was the 14th straight record-breaking hot month, globally. In addition, the first six months of 2016 have averaged temperatures in the tipping point range that many climate scientists believe must be avoided so that global warming – with worsening weather extremes and rising seas – doesn’t surge forward under its own momentum, beyond humanity’s control. (This has been mostly ignored by the media, with one exception being this Associated Press article.)
Thankfully, El Nino is partly responsible for this year’s record highs, but it is clear that we’re approaching the 1.5 degree Celsius tipping point (the increase above the pre-industrial average) much faster than scientists expected even a year ago.
The record heat is probably related to the soaring methane emissions from the fracking boom of recent years. That’s not yet certain.
What is clear, however, is that methane leaking and venting from the natural gas industry has become the key driver of US greenhouse gas emissions. And that the mad rush by Duke Energy and other utilities toward a fracked gas future is the key reason for the fracking boom.
LEADERS & LAGGARDS IN RENEWABLES: A new report by nonprofit Ceres shows that many of the nation’s largest electric utilities are strongly expanding their use of renewable energy, driven by customer demand. As reported by Utility Dive, “Even among laggards [utilities], there’s a growing consensus that renewables are at the center of the 21st century energy system.”
Renewable power now makes up over 10 percent of the sales by 15 utilities, and four are over 20 percent. Ceres also ranks the laggards: Despite millions spent to greenwash its corporate image, Duke Energy – the nation’s largest utility – is near the bottom, at only 2.79 percent.
Instead, Duke Energy is trying to build fracked gas pipelines and 15-20 gas-fired power plants (in the Carolinas alone), while working with the Kochs and others to stifle the growth of renewables.
As noted by the Huffington Post, “No matter how some resist it, clean energy is taking a serious hold on the grid, and at a staggering rate.”
It is tragic that Duke Energy executives and other giant fossil fuel corporations are holding back this inevitable shift to renewables – while boosting the fracked gas industry that’s moving humanity frighteningly close to runaway climate chaos.
Please put CEO Lynn Good on record as to why Duke Energy isn’t doing all possible to avert this calamity.