As Congress writes big climate laws, contentious tech stirs debate

October 6, 2021

As the world digs into the technologies that could help society tackle climate change, controversy is inevitably emerging in key areas.

Environmentalists, and some of their Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Congress, are concerned that hydrogen and technology capturing carbon from polluting facilities could prolong the use of oil and gas products and not actually fight climate change.

I posed that sentiment to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in previously unpublished footage of Cipher’s inaugural Newsmakers interview. Her answer:

“I think that we should use every possible technology to decarbonize as quickly as possible. We can’t turn off the spigot of oil tomorrow. We can’t turn off the spigot of natural gas tomorrow. We have to work with the existing sources of energy, but decarbonize them, even as we double, triple the amount—actually quadruple the amount—of solar that we’ve got to put out there.”

Discord over technology preference has been simmering for years among all facets of our society that otherwise generally agree climate change is a crisis that we must urgently tackle.

It’s a complex debate for sure, but to boil it down, it goes like this: One viewpoint advocates for wind and solar power to fuel nearly all of our economy to the exclusion of other clean technologies.

Another viewpoint posits that we need an energy mix that includes renewable energy alongside other clean technologies like nuclear power (long controversial among progressives), carbon capture tech and—more recently—clean hydrogen.

Read more here.

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