EXTREME WEATHER SHOWS WHY WE NEED ALL THE CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS IN THE AMERICAN JOBS PLAN
NEW POLLING: 67% of Voters, Including A Majority Of Independents, Support Investing In Clean Energy, Modernizing The Electricity Grid, Improving Reliability, And Funding New Research
Global warming is making extreme weather events more common, and our lack of climate resilient infrastructure is putting Americans lives at risk.
- According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, extreme weather and climate-related events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, in turn increasing the risk of infrastructure failure and disruption.
- Since the 1970s and 1980s, climate scientists have warned that global warming would make heat waves more frequent, long-lasting and intense. [The Washington Post, 6/28/21]
- Already, there are 12,000 premature deaths annually in the United States due to heat.
- Major electrical failures in the United States have increased by more than 60% over the most recent 5 year reporting period.
School of City & Regional Planning at
Georgia Institute of Technology
Texas’s grid operator frightened residents last week when it said it had very little reserves to cover demand spiking as temperatures soared. This summer could produce more scary times. In February, the Texas grid, run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), nearly collapsed from several days of frigid weather, exposing its vulnerabilities as weather grows more extreme and power demand rises. ERCOT is already warning its 26 million customers to conserve energy, and experts say people should brace for rolling blackouts amid drought and extreme heat.
If four days of sweltering temperatures had not already distressed some New Yorkers, the emergency alert that jolted residents’ cellphones on Wednesday afternoon surely did.
It was the first time the city had used such an alert to try to bring down energy usage, officials said, and it came as the city endured its fourth day in a row of high heat and humidity.
Tens of thousands of Michiganders are without power Wednesday morning. That’s after storms Tuesday afternoon knocked more homes offline while crews were still working to repair earlier outages.
DTE Energy is reporting more than 56,000 customers without power. The outages are widespread in metro Detroit. There is also a pocket of outages in the lower part of the Thumb.
Record-breaking temperatures have soared well past 100 degrees across the Pacific Northwest, where the area is trapped beneath a blistering “heat dome.”
In some places, the heat is so intense it has even melted power cables. In downtown Portland, the Portland Streetcar service shut down on Sunday, posting a picture on Twitter of a power cable with a hole burnt into it.
The Bottom Line: In order to bolster our nation’s communities against rising temperatures and extreme weather while combating climate change, we must invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies through President Biden’s American Jobs and Families Plans.