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Impeachment scenarios

One interesting thing about the current political situation is that I have literally no idea what's going to happen. Here are a few possibilities:

A) The House votes to impeach, but Mitch McConnell refuses to allow a vote in the Senate. Trump carries out the rest of his term under a cloud. During the debates, Biden calls him a coward and struts around him while clucking like a chicken. The Biden-Buttigieg ticket ekes out a narrow 291-247 victory in 2020. America reaches net zero emissions in 2049.

NET Power Zero Emissions

If the numbers in this article are even remotely accurate, this is a game changer for the fight against climate change, and sets the stage for a major fight within the environmental movement.

Negative Emissions and Carbon Pricing

One of the problems with carbon pricing is that it's difficult to use for negative emissions. Let's say that you set the price of carbon at the cost of removing the carbon from the atmosphere. That lets you get to net zero emissions, but it doesn't do anything about existing emissions. Now let's say that you increase the price on carbon to, let's say, 150% of the cost of CDR (Carbon Dioxide Removal). That lets you go net negative, but only by a certain amount. It's hard to calculate what percent of CDR your carbon price needs to be, since it depends on so many different factors.

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:

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