Affordable Clean Energy or Carbon Free?

Yesterday, EPA finalized its Affordable Clean Energy rule, which will replace the Obama Clean Power Plan.  More on ACE later.  For now, I just want to use the ACE roll-out to contrast what’s happening at the federal level with what’s happening in the rest of the world – specifically, in this case, in Boston.

While President Trump is throwing coal a “lifeline,” the Carbon Free Boston:  Transportation Technical Report is discussing banning internal combustion automobiles from the City of Boston by 2050.  It’s actually a bit unfair to focus on the possibility of such a ban, because the report has a lot of detail about a range of policies.

However, that is, in part, the point.  When you look at the science, it’s pretty clear we need to decarbonize as quickly and completely as possible.  When you look at the options for decarbonizing, you have to at least start to consider a wide range of options, including those as jaw-droppingly severe as banning internal combustion cars.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Administrator Wheeler is trumpeting a 14% decline in carbon emissions from the energy industry over 12 years (conveniently picking the most favorable dates and ignoring an increase last year and expected increase this year), and issuing a rule that provides for modest increases in efficiency at coal plants.

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