Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Clean Energy Transition Could Center on Republican Districts

Clean Energy Transition Could Center on Republican Districts
An oil pumpjack is seen in a Texas cotton field against a backdrop of wind energy. ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

Many congressional districts with the most clean energy potential are current fossil fuel hubs, potentially reducing political barriers to a just transition away from the energy sources that cause climate change, a Brookings report says.

Of the 155 congressional districts with high renewable energy potential, 91 are currently represented by a Republican.

Although fossil fuel companies have laid off well over 100,000 workers in the last year alone, in some cases while their executives raked in bonuses funded by government bailouts, the Brookings researchers describe a fear of transitioning to renewable energy in geographically concentrated regions and communities historically dominated by the fossil fuel industry.

The Brookings report did not address the billions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies over decades to deny the science of climate change and fund politicians who support their industries.

While many workers in the fossil fuel industry are finding their skills transfer easily to renewable energy, oil and gas workers could also be employed plugging orphaned wells, which leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other pollutants.

For a deeper dive:

Brookings: E&E, Axios; Bonuses: BailoutWatch; Orphaned Wells: KXAN

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less