Freedom from coal: Coal was the fuel for more than half of US electricity as recently as 2003, but was down to less than 25 percent last year and is some of most expensive to operate now

Excerpt from Inside Climate News We don’t need coal and it’s cheaper to get rid of it. Coal was the fuel for more than half of the country’s electricity as recently as 2003, but was down to less than 25 percent last year. And coal’s decline is accelerating, with many coal-fired power plants sitting idle during the coronavirus crisis because those plants are …

Massachusetts may become just the third state, after California and New York, to begin planning for a managed decline of its conventional natural gas industry and gas in new buildings

According to the petition, the DPU should examine the investment needed to ensure a safe and reliable gas system over the next 30 years, while gas demand declines. The AG’s Office also urges the DPU to examine whether there are other cost-effective alternatives to traditional gas infrastructure investment that may be better aligned with the state’s climate goals. The AG’s …

Home heating is largest use of fossil fuel in buildings, which are the largest source of GHGs in urban areas: It’s time to incentivize residential heat pumps. 5 to 8 million buildings add or replace heating equipment each year

5 to 8 million US buildings will add or replace heating equipment each year. Each one of these decisions may lock in fossil fuel use in buildings for decades since gas furnaces have a 15- to 20-year lifetime. June 8, 2020  |  By RMI. Claire McKenna, Amar Shah, Mark Silberg The United States has made significant progress decarbonizing the electricity sector in recent …

Buildings account for nearly 80% of GHG emissions in some cities. Clean energy policies foster growth in local jobs.

St. Louis last week became the first Midwest city to pass a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) to advance the city’s goal of eliminating community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The BEPS plan is applicable to buildings that are 50,000 square feet or larger and were already required to report their energy and water use under current city law. Under BEPS, those …

100 million Americans, including 27 million children lack access to decent nearby green spaces

Low-income households and people of color in cities are least likely to live near decent green spaces . low-income households and people of color least likely to live close to parks with basic amenities like bathrooms, playgrounds and basketball courts. Multiple studies have shown that spending time in green spaces reduces stress and improves physical and psychological wellbeing for adults …

Concrete – pollution reduction

University of California – Davis. “Concrete solutions that lower both emissions and air pollution: Air quality and climate change intertwine in unexpected ways; a concrete example.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200323132416.htm> Sometimes, fixing one problem can create another. Concrete production contributes 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, and demand continues to rise as populations and incomes grow. Yet some …

Customer-Focused Alternatives to Gas Will Provide Health Benefits and Local Economic Development. Direct building emissions from gas contribute 10 percent of nation’s total GHG pollution.

Last year, New York’s legislature and Governor Cuomo made a major commitment to climate action, passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA commits the state to emissions reductions of 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050. Along the way, New York’s electricity system must be 70 percent renewable by 2030 and 100 …

City and State Stretch Codes

https://gettingtozeroforum.org/policy-resources/ ZERO ENERGY POLICY An increasing number of cities, counties, and states around the US are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Here we provide a curated list of leading energy goals, policies, and energy stretch codes from states and local jurisdictions, as well as programs that support jurisdictions. Resources include legislation, strategic plans, energy and climate action plans, …

Approaches Cities Are Taking and Law on Municipal Gas Bans

The bans in California and Massachusetts rely on different sources of authority. Many of the California bans are structured as amendments to the local building codes. In that state, municipalities are permitted to adopt building energy code provisions that are more stringent than the state code with California Energy Commission approval. San Jose, Menlo Park, San Mateo, West Hollywood and …

States and cities pursuing building electrification

Feb 2020, Garet Bleir for Sierra Club See 34-page Building Electrification Action Plan A major push for the electrification of buildings is occurring, outfitting new or retrofitting existing buildings with electric heating units and appliances instead of being powered by fossil fuels such as “natural” (fracked and conventional) gas, which has health and safety (including climate) effects.  Seattle has just enacted …