Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050?

Guest post by Roger Caiazza,

In an article about Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, Rachel Frazin of the Hill reported that:

“Asked about Line 3, a White House spokesperson said in an email the administration will evaluate infrastructure proposals based on energy needs, if they will help the country reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and whether they can create good-paying union jobs. The spokesperson didn’t say anything specific to the Line 3 project.” (Emphasis added)

Has anybody heard of an announcement that the United States has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050?

The article was about an Enbridge pipeline upgrade project, Line 3, in Minnesota:

“The $4-billion U.S. portion of the Line 3 Replacement Program, known as the Line 3 Replacement Project, consists of replacing existing 34-inch pipe with new 36-inch pipe for 13 miles in North Dakota, 337 miles in Minnesota, and 14 miles in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin portion was completed in 2018, while the North Dakota segment was completed in December 2020.”

“In December 2020, construction began on the 337-mile Minnesota portion of the project, the only segment of Line 3 yet to be replaced with new state-of-the-art pipe.”

Activists unable accept that the oil is going to flow with or without this upgrade and unwilling to believe that the alternatives are higher risks for the environment are trying to block the segment in Minnesota even though construction began in December 2020.  Blair King explained why the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline was bad for the climate, the environment, and Canada and all of his arguments are equally applicable to this pipeline.

The Hill article explains that there are active lawsuits against the pipeline in Minnesota despite the fact that “both the federal and Minnesota state government assessed the pipeline’s impacts and approved it”.  This attempt to delay yet another pipeline is bad enough but the Administration’s response that the infrastructure project will be evaluated to see if they help reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 is far worse.  Is it too much to ask that the politicians do a feasibility study to determine effects on affordability, reliability, and the impacts on the environment before committing to a political slogan?

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Roger Caiazza blogs on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York because New York politicians have enacted legislation to meet a carbon neutral goal by 2050 with including a feasibility assessment.  This represents his opinion and not the opinion of any of his previous employers or any other company with which he has been associated.

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March 31, 2021 at 08:26AM

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