May 30, 2015

Energy used by natural gas pipelines

The amount of energy used by natural gas pipelines has increased 50% in the last decade. (brown line in the middle of the graph below.) 

According to the US Energy Information Agency, we've increased the amount of energy consumed by natural gas pipelines by 300 trillion Btus over the ten years from 2004 to 2014. 

That is the equivalent of 88 million MWh. By way of comparison that is 60% more than the 55 million MWh of electricity the Commonwealth of Massachusetts consumed in 2012. 

The total amount of energy used by natural gas pipelines is ~900 trillion Btus or 264 million MWh. That is slightly more than the total amount of electricity consumed in California in 2012. 

This certainly highlights another benefit of generating energy directly at the point of consumption. 

By generating all of our electricity from solar - we could eliminate one California's worth of electricity consumption, just in pipeline energy costs. 

May 23, 2015

$500 billion and $5 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies

The International Monetary Fund has found that fossil fuels receive $500 billion in direct subsidies and $5 trillion in indirect subsidies a year. 

Let that sink in... that is more than 6% of the world's GDP that fossil fuel suppliers are not paying to account for the cost of burning their products. 

75% of those costs are local costs resulting from immediate health impacts like air pollution. You are paying those costs in your health care bills. 

Approximately 25% of those costs are attributable to climate change impacts. Droughts, wildfires, extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, Irene, off the charts snowstorms, sea level rise... 

May 8, 2015

Florida bans climate change

Governor Rick Scott of Florida
Florida's Department of Environmental Protection is tasked with protecting the state's "air, water and land." But there's one environmental threat you won't hear DEP officials talking about.
Officials at Florida's DEP have banned the words "climate change" and "global warming" from all official communications, including reports and emails, according to an investigation published Sunday by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR). [Climate Progress]