Report for Chester County Environmental Alliance, May, 2021, by Christi Marshall
I’d like to share a few encouraging statistics about the green revolution that is overtaking our waning reliance on fossil fuels.
Wind turbines currently provide over 9% of the energy in our country, and are our most prevalent form of renewable energy. I used to see the Empire State building every day out of my office window in Manhattan. So I was pleased to learn that this building, which includes so many offices that it is assigned its own ZIP Code, is now running completely on wind energy. The Empire State Realty Trust, which now owns the building, is committed to 100% wind turbine-generated energy purchased through Green Mountain Energy.
Since barely 2% of renewable energy is currently powering commercial buildings, this is an encouraging model.
One of the most prominent oil and gas mega giants, Exxon Mobil, often called the ultimate blue chip company, actually lost its place last year as one of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones industrial Average. Their purchase several years ago of a major natural gas company has been an investment disaster. They are now $60 billion in the red. And now three of its largest shareholders, all major pension funds with total assets of $850 billion, are attempting to force the replacement of four board members with individuals interested in transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050. These three pension fund managers all agree that Exxon Mobil must achieve this goal for the sake of the planet as well as the bottom line.
The well-regarded International Energy Agency aligned with the Paris Climate Accords recently made the bombshell announcement that there is now no further need for continued exploration of oil and gas reserves
Wind turbine energy now costs about $9 per 1000 kWh, compared to $23 for natural gas. Predictions indicate that the cost of wind turbine energy will decline by 50% over the next few years.
The less we rely on natural gas, the less need there will be for pipelines to transmit them under pressure through our beautiful Chester County!
(Update: the effort to replace at least 2 independent members on the Exxon Mobil Board was successful!)