Mon. Dec 6th, 2021

Representative Dan Cranesch (R-TX) smiles after speaking at The Venetian Annual Leadership Meeting of the Republican Jewish Alliance in Las Vegas.

Pictures: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

Glasgow, Scotland – The Republican climate delegation Has landed Glasgow Climate Discussion. As 100,000 protesters took to the streets The demand for radical, transformative change, Dan Cranes, a representative from Texas, Garrett Graves, a representative from Louisiana, and John Curtis, a representative from Utah, visited the convention center where negotiators are hammering on the climate deal.

Their pitch is certainly not transformative, although it is certainly radical. Instead of decarbonizing by generating renewable energy as soon as possible, the group is exporting more American natural gas and investing in expensive nuclear energy and unproven carbon capture technology as needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Arthur ran into the team while they were touring the country’s pavilions where countries host discussions from experts and talk about their climate optimization. Cranesch pauses to take a picture at one point Industrial installation The pavilion features a polar bear wearing a life vest for Tuvalu, an island country facing extinction due to rising sea levels before meeting in a Danish pavilion. We were able to catch him later.

“As a Republican representative here, I would usually say [we’re here] All of this brings a more rational approach, “he said. When asked about the solutions the group came here to promote, he noted that it includes advanced modular reactors, carbon capture and nuclear energy, including Texas natural gas.” , The promotion of carbon capture, a rational discussion on the promotion of natural gas exports from the United States, which will displace coal around the world and have a greater impact on emissions reduction, obviously, than anything else. The solution is because they actually work. “

The rationale for these positions, though, is that they have somewhat shaky legs, including how well they actually work. Let’s start with nuclear energy, which is a vital source of carbon-free energy that is in grave danger. Many plants in the United States are near or past retirement age. New York, Indian Point has been closed this year, While in Illinois, state government recently Aging throws a lifeline to the nuclear fleet To keep it online, there are two wild underscores of different options available.

Building new nuclear plants, however, has proven to be incredibly challenging. There is currently only one under construction in the United States, the Vogtal nuclear plant, which is many years behind schedule and now Its initial cost is double. Nuclear investment is certainly a means of decarbonization, but the challenges it faces show that it is not a slam dunk and that sufficient nuclear power can come online in the required timeline.

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is still a pipedream that has failed. That includes shuttering Petra Nova facility Craneshore in Texas earlier this year because it was too expensive and ineffective. (This captured carbon was used to extract more oil, which is not exactly a win for the climate.) Craneshow said it was a “pilot project,” which in itself says a lot about the state of the CCS. Needless to say, this is not a worthy technology to invest in and indeed, it can buy world time to reduce emissions. But it is not a silver bullet or a keyboard in the race to decarbonize the power system.

Then there are natural gas things. Gas is better than coal, yes. But it still emits methane. Even relatively “cleaner” Texas gas Climate creates challenges, With Fugitive methane emissions Due to which the planet warms 80 times faster than carbon dioxide.

A major report by the International Energy Agency, which was founded in the wake of the 1970s oil crisis and is not exactly a granola-and-flax-loving group, Released earlier this year Found That New oil and gas exploration will have to stop next year. Cranesch said he had not seen the report, but “it’s not possible at all.”

Meanwhile, the intergovernmental panel report on climate change Reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7-)Degree-Fahrenheit) target By 2030, oil and gas consumption will fall by 37% and 25%, respectively. (Peer-reviewed science Blackouts have shown the natural gas infrastructure is at risk of weathering.)

“A Straman argument was made, like, ‘Oh, Republicans say wind turbines are frozen,'” he said. “Maybe someone said. I did not say that. There was a meme on the internet that said that. “

Indeed, there was one debunked meme. Although Crenshaw did not share the meme, he did A thread tweet Why the Texas grid failed, starting with “Frozen Wind Turbines” and looking into what happened, “so we’re not relying on frozen wind turbines to heat our homes during blizzards.” Again, energy policy experts have not only found the root cause of suffering.

Republican vision for rationality in UN talks, then, continues to rely on fossil fuels With some CCS and nuclear bells and whistles, which are very important investments, not enough to keep the tide flowing Swallowing places like Tuvalu.

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