All posts tagged: luxury of time.The Democrats

Clean Energy Gets the San Francisco Treatment

Clean Energy Gets the San Francisco Treatment

One great paradox of our time is that to limit humanity’s harms to the planet, we must decarbonize the economy; but to decarbonize the economy, we must build tons of new stuff: wind farms, solar fields, geothermal wells, and above all electricity-transmission lines. Last month, a broad coalition of congressional Democrats released their vision for how to do this. Their bill, the Clean Electricity and Transmission Acceleration Act, includes many good ideas, such as clarifying the federal government’s authority to approve interstate transmission lines, requiring public utilities to account for the “social cost of carbon” in setting rates, and addressing a shortage of electrical transformers. But then the bill undermines itself by setting up a succession of legal obstacles. This will allow NIMBY neighbors, fossil-fuel front groups, and other opponents of vital infrastructure to drag out the permitting process for years by concocting one procedural objection after another. Annie Lowrey: NIMBYism reaches its apotheosis Many environmentalists, civic groups, and sympathetic lawmakers fail to recognize that demanding too much community input and legal review has a …