Opinion: Extreme weather shakes America’s strength. Here’s what we need to do

Over the course of a year, we’ve got a full view of the dangers ahead. Even before Eder, our fires and heatwaves threatened to overload the grid, a drought that put pressure on hydropower generation, and a polar vortex that stopped gas production. This pummeling is part of a long trend driven by climate change – it will only get worse if we continue to increase carbon pollution.
As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, this is a red code for humanity. But fortunately, the Biden administration has a plan to respond: a Build Back Better Agenda, which will make vitally important investments to protect our infrastructure from the effects of climate change, and lead our nation toward building a clean energy economy.
While some have questioned the scope of the president’s historic historic proposal, we should weigh their concerns as well as skyrocket the cost of cleaning up after extreme weather events. In the 1980s, it cost about 18 18 billion a year to clean up after a climate disaster. Then the extreme weather becomes intense, so the costs become balloons. In the 1990s, we spent about 27 27 billion annually on cleaning. In the 2000s, it cost about 52 52 billion annually. In the 2010s, the cost of cleaning rose to 81 81 billion. Then in the last five years, we’ve spent a whopping $ 121 billion every year to clean up after Angry Mother Nature.

We simply cannot afford to hold on to this path.

When these climate disasters hit the power system, they disrupt business, put enormous pressure on state and local government budgets, and damage the health and wealth of American households across the country. More than 100 million Americans were under heat warning this summer. And it’s the low-income Americans মধ্যে among the black, Latino, and Indigenous communities যারা who are most directly and immediately affected. In Louisiana and Mississippi, those who could not withstand Hurricane Ida could endure three times the temperature waiting for electricity to recover.

To keep the American people safe, we need to increase resilience to these powerful storms – which first require more transmission lines to transmit electricity over long distances. This will reduce the likelihood of a local power plant being shut down during a storm that will leave communities without electricity.

We also need to make sure that the new infrastructure we’re building can weather the effects of the weather that we know. This means, for example, switching wooden poles to reinforced concrete for steel and placing lines under the ground where it is understandable. Pacific Gas and Electric are burying 10,000 miles of power lines in response to the fire. We can replicate that effort in the core area most vulnerable to extreme weather.
In the Grand Isle of Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Eder on September 4, 2021, a driver is driving down a road.

Approved, additional lines, strong poles, and strategic undergrounding can not prevent every weather disaster from being pushed to the power plant or from going offline – but when we can reduce the barriers through a distributed clean energy system.

Even though most of New Orleans is dark, residents of the St. Peter’s apartment enjoy eight hours of electricity a day for solar panels and onsite battery storage on the roof of the complex. We need to connect more important infrastructures and buildings to this kind of renewable microgrid that can go online quickly and meet local needs. While we work to complete thousands of miles wide transmission upgrades, cities and states can work quickly to establish and encourage these small-scale distributed power projects.
Yet if we continue to make these natural disasters more destructive and more general, these measures will also prove futile. The only way to truly strengthen the long-term grid and protect our community is to build a clean energy economy. Many of the technologies we need to reach zero-emissions in the future যেমন such as solar power are already proven, and will create massive employment in scaling installations. If we put pressure on 40% of our electricity with solar by 2035, we will create 1.5 million jobs without raising energy prices. Other clean energy technologies, such as battery storage and clean hydrogen fuel cells, have huge potential that we can unlock through federal investment.
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The good news is that the bilateral infrastructure agreement before Congress includes ২ 2 billion for necessary transmission investments – which could include expanding bills on broadband and EV charging components, strengthening transmission towers and burying underground transmission lines.
The second part of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda – also known as the Reconciliation Bill – offers the opportunity to ground those transmission upgrades on a clean energy basis. As members of Congress go through the process of writing this bill, they can add and support tax credits such as clean energy capacity and technologies such as microgrids, grant block grants to state and local governments for clean energy projects, and clean power performance programs – a combination of policies It will lead our nation to tackle climate change.

The grid challenge can be daunting, but the decision we face is not difficult. We can pollute the atmosphere and pay billions to recover from extreme weather disasters as they continue to grow রেখে leaving us in a never-ending cycle of destruction, disruption, and reconstruction. Or we can now invest in building more resilient, clean energy power systems that will help us tackle the climate crisis, creating millions of jobs in the process. The exact choice may not be clear.

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