marshall.lewis's blog

Biden's Climate Plan

I'm finally sitting down and reading through Biden's climate plan, and it is really, really similar to Beto's. It was a smart move by Beto to get his climate plan out first, even though it wasn't really done, because it makes it look like everyone else is imitating him. (The exceptions to this are Jay Inslee, who imitates no one, and John Delaney, who's imitating Milton Friedman.)

Some highlights:

"Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050."

Environmental Caucus Party Policy Officer Part II

OK, to update people on how my campaign for Environmental Caucus Party Policy Officer went:

Most of the meeting was spent re-electing incumbent candidates who were running unopposed. By the time we finally got to the Party Policy Director race, we were almost at the end of the meeting. Rusty Hicks, Kimberly Ellis, and (I think) Daraka Larimore-Hall, the three main candidates for Party Chair, were all waiting outside for us to get out of the room so they could use it for the next event.

Environmental Caucus Party Policy Director

I'm running for Environmental Caucus Party Policy Director, and it will be a competitive race. This means you need to come vote for me! The election will be at the Environmental Caucus meeting at 7:30 pm on Friday. We'll be meeting in room 215-216 in the Moscone Center. You don't need to be a delegate to vote, but you do need to be a member of the caucus. Membership dues are $10, and you can join at the meeting.

Individual Actions and Climate Change

One of the climate change issues people like to debate is how much of an effect our individual actions can have. Grubler's paper offers a fascinating perspective on that. It models what would happen if we make behavioral changes to reduce energy use - things like ride sharing in electric vehicles, reducing air conditioner and heater usage, eating less meat, buying locally sourced products, telecommuting, planting trees, and so on.

Post-capitalism battery arrays

I'm not usually very fond of the term, but it's hard to describe this quote as anything other than post-capitalism at its finest:

"While battery arrays that are installed to support short-duration renewables integration may be able to underbid current service providers and win a share of the frequency regulation revenue, additional battery capacity that exceeds total demand is likely to drive frequency regulation prices down to levels that are currently unthinkable. It may ultimately be good for electricity consumers, but it will be very bad for facility owners."

California's Renewables

The rate at which California builds new sources of renewable energy has slowed dramatically over the last few years. In 2013, we were adding over 3,000 MW a year; in 2017, we only added 546 MW. The reason for this slowdown is that conventional utilities (like PG&E) have been losing customers to Community Choice Aggregators (like MCE). The conventional utilities don't want to add capacity because it's expensive and their revenues are down. The CCAs have a hard time adding capacity because they're still small and young.

Concord Communities Alliance and Hall Equities

Concord Communities Alliance had a very interesting discussion today with a representative from Hall Equities about the stadium they want to build in downtown Concord. This project hasn't gotten a lot of love from the community, but she did make some good points:

Candidacy Announced

I've decided to run for Party Policy Director of the Environmental Caucus. Party Policy Director is a new position that will be responsible for identifying resolutions and platform issues and bringing them to the attention of the caucus. If elected, I'll use my research skills and technical knowledge to provide caucus members with background information on the issues at hand. I won't tell anyone what to think, but I will ensure that people have access to the information they need.

Jay Inslee on Climate Change

As expected, Jay Inslee rockets into first place on the climate change front. Beto's plan is pretty good when it comes to funding, but is pretty vague on everything else. Where Beto relies on a single federal mandate for net zero emissions by 2050, Inslee has three separate mandates for 100% carbon neutral electricity, 100% EV sales, and 100% zero-emissions for new buildings, all by 2030, along with a broader goal of being completely carbon-neutral by 2045. This is much more enforceable than Beto's proposal.

Coalition Building

As a gentle reminder, we're likely to have somewhere between two dozen and too many candidates running for president this election cycle. The odds of any one candidate securing a majority of pledged delegates are basically zero. This means that we're probably going to have a brokered convention, and this means that we're going to have to ask delegates who had been pledged to other candidates to support our candidate instead.

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