To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, we must ensure rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions—based on the latest science and in line with our fair share—to put America on a pathway to reduce its emissions to net-zero by 2050. Critical to achieving this goal is the build out of transmission and other infrastructure necessary to make the shift to a net-zero economy.
Today’s network of transmission and distribution equipment still includes components from over 100 years ago. Varying age, condition, and capacities make it difficult to provide reliable power, and unreliable equipment, severe weather, and overloading can all cause power disruptions and damages to electric equipment. Unfortunately, as climate change gets worse, so does the problem. More than half of major power outages between 2000 and 2016 were caused by natural hazards such as hurricanes, heat waves, and wildfires.
Investing in transmission and electric infrastructure is an excellent opportunity to put people to work in the clean economy. Most of the jobs associated with transmission construction and operations and maintenance are already union jobs. New federal investment going towards the upgrading or construction of new lines should continue to reinforce these high-road, family sustaining jobs.
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