A new section of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly warns that our capacity to adapt is being overwhelmed by climate change. With extreme rain and flooding, WV is already suffering the consequences. Therefore, we appreciate Senator Manchin for watching over the people of West Virginia and his willingness to negotiate a reconciliation bill that resolves this issue.
Substantial help for the crisis can be found with the Department of Energy’s Wells of Opportunity initiative. This program aims to reuse abandoned gas and oil wells for geothermal energy. Converting such a well to geothermal electricity generation is relatively inexpensive since the bulk of the work has already been done.
In addition, thanks to recent innovations, geothermal energy, available at all times, no longer requires deep drilling in hot water pockets and pollutants are now contained in a sealed loop system.
The DOE initiative also addresses climate change in another way: Abandoned and unmonitored oil and gas wells can collectively leak huge amounts of methane – a gas with more than 100 times the warming power of the Earth. CO2 in the first ten years after release.
Kelly Speaks-Backman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, sums it up: “These efforts will show how to leverage our existing oil and gas workforce and infrastructure, put more geothermal energy online and move our energy workforce into a growing, clean energy economy.
Another important tool, accepted by some in both parties, is carbon pricing. It alone can produce results with the necessary speed. This solution does not require expenses, but rather increases income – with cash back to households to cover increased energy costs.
In 2021, the US Chamber of Commerce revised its stance on climate change, saying it now supports “well-designed market mechanisms”. A carbon tax is considered a market-based mechanism. Meanwhile, the IPCC report calls carbon pricing “the most powerful and effective strategy” available to reduce emissions.
If we decarbonize quickly, climate action can add $3 trillion to the US economy by 2070, according to a Deloitte Economics Institute report – which also shows that failure to act could cost $14.5 trillion.