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Electrifying Everything Deserves More Scrutiny

Dear Friends,

Climate change legislation is front and center as both our state legislature and federal government propose sweeping changes to our energy infrastructure and use. They have decided that electrifying everything is the only legitimate solution for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This conclusion, and the narrow pathway they plan to force on us, actually threaten our ability to achieve significant carbon reduction.

California has already figured this out. Its Low Carbon Fuel Standard has been one of the most successful GHG reduction strategies implemented. But success thus far hasn’t come from electrification. Almost 80% of the emissions reductions have come by expanding the use of liquid renewable fuels like the Bioheat we sell.

By contrast, Massachusetts seems intent on putting all of our eggs into one basket. The problem is that the basket is not nearly big enough, it’s ridiculously expensive, and it’s fragile.

Massachusetts’s goal is to power 100% of our electric grid with renewable resources like wind and solar by 2040. A view of the facts suggests a different outcome.

  • In 2019, renewable sources accounted for only 9.4% of the electricity consumed here in New England. But even this low number is misleading. On a cold February day this year, the renewable percentage dropped to just 1%, because renewables have the hardest time generating electricity in winter. Now factor in that electricity demand is going to grow as the government forces or subsidizes the use of electricity in cars, buses, home and commercial building heating, etc. How will we wean ourselves off of a dirty electric grid when we keep increasing the grid load?
  • People will push back against the huge increases in costs and restrictions on choice, which will arise from these plans. Electric rates are bound to surge because of required infrastructure investments. Carbon taxes will be levied to push people away from oil and natural gas. Those with the least disposable income will get hit the worst. The grid, which is already fragile, will break down more, leaving thousands of people without heat periodically. It doesn’t take a fortune teller to see that at some point, politicians will start feeling so much pressure they will derail the plan.

I am extremely concerned about climate change and the future of our planet.

I don’t think we have the time or money to waste chasing this pipe dream. A varied path to carbon reduction stands a much better chance of reaching our goals. Renewable fuels like the Bioheat SuperPlus we deliver reduce GHG emissions by 40% right now, with even more reductions on the way. We achieve these reductions for pennies per gallon versus the $20,000+ cost of a whole-home conversion to heat pumps. We don’t require carbon taxes to induce people to use our product and unlike heat pumps, our equipment actually keeps you warm. Also, with fuels like the ones we deliver, you will continue to have access to the personalized customer service that companies like ours deliver every day.

Despite all this, we seem to have no ticket to the clean energy future they envision. Unless common sense prevails, it’s hard to see that future becoming a reality.

Call me if you’d like to discuss any of this. My line is always open.