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Romm writes: "Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Wednesday that it was 'immoral' to help poor nations shift off of fossil fuels."

DOE Secretary Rick Perry. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty)
DOE Secretary Rick Perry. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry Says Moving From Fossil Fuels to Renewables Is 'Immoral'

By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress

08 March 18

But it's okay to waste $1.6 trillion on energy sources that put millions of lives at risk and destroy the climate.

nergy Secretary Rick Perry said on Wednesday that it was “immoral” to help poor nations shift off of fossil fuels.

“Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them you can’t have electricity,” said Perry in remarks after his big speech to the oil and gas industry at the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. “Because as a society we decided fossil fuels were bad. I think that is immoral.”

Perry’s logic and morality are both blinkered. First, despite being in charge of a $2 billion clean energy program, Perry seems completely unaware that solar and wind are now cheaper sources of electricity than fossil fuels.


Indeed, solar power keeps crushing its own record for cheapest unsubsidized electricity “ever, anywhere, by any technology.” And in Colorado, building new renewable power plus battery storage is now cheaper than running old coal plants.

Second, what’s immoral is not shifting away from dirty fossil fuels, but blindly sticking with them. A recent study shows that 1.1 million people die prematurely every year in India from air pollution, which primarily comes from burning fossil fuels.

And a 2017 Lancet study concluded that globally, air, water, and soil pollution kill more than 9 million people a year. Air pollution alone accounts for 4.5 millions deaths, and those numbers are projected to rise sharply in developing countries in the coming years.

Finally, there’s climate change, a subject Perry conspicuously never mentioned in his big CERAweek speech. But as the Financial Times reported Wednesday, “Fossil fuel companies risk wasting almost $1.6 trillion on oil, gas and coal projects that will become uneconomic” if the world adopts the policies needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.

The world is currently on track to spend $4.8 trillion on fossil fuel production by 2025, finds a new study by Carbon Tracker. But to get on the path needed to preserve a livable climate — keeping total warming below 2°C (3.6°F) as the world unanimously agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accord — we should spend no more than $3.6 trillion on fossil fuels.

The failure to shift rapidly to clean energy will therefore squander trillions of dollars in the coming decades, while killing millions and irreversibly destroying the climate for centuries to come.

Back in 2015, the Pope expounded at great length in his climate encyclical on the immorality of inaction on global warming. So shifting off fossil fuels much faster than we currently are is one of the most moral things the world can do right now.

What’s immoral are the efforts by Rick Perry and his boss President Trump to undermine clean energy, reverse U.S. climate action, and thwart the Paris climate accord. your social media marketing partner


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+57 # indian weaving 2018-03-08 14:06
The entire Trump administration is a festering enemy of We The People, on every level imaginable.
+6 # laborequalswealth 2018-03-09 11:19
Agreed. Except that I saw an article today touted the treasonous, sovereignty-des troying TransPacific Partnership (TPP) because ... Trump was against it!!!! INSANE. [Note: Opposing the TPP was a major part of BERNIE SANDER'S PLATFORM.]

I am sick to death of 75% of the headline on so-called "alternative" new outlets having the word "Trump" in it. Trump is NOT the problem - he is the SYMPTOM of the public's utter disgust with both corrupt political parties.

And while the so-called Demos circle-jerk over Russia "influencing our elections" with ... Twitter!, Trump's Flying Monkeys like double-digit IQ Rick Perry are destroying the country.

Get a grip. It is NOT about Trump. It is about how the international plutocracy is looting America before the next big crash. And the Demos do nothing about it. Nothing.
+5 # JCM 2018-03-10 18:55
I understand your frustration, however as bad as the Dems seem at times they are nowhere near the destruction the republicans inflict on our nation. This is not about the least to two evils. This is a war against the oligarchs controlling the republicans for their own good. Many Dems are in their control too but not the mindless direction of the republicans. Vote for better Dems and always vote for Dems.
0 # ljslotnick 2018-03-11 21:02
laborequalsweal th is not just venting frustration...h e s speaking the truth. JCM...unless your advice to RSN readers with human/progressi ve values includes a call to unseat the likes of out-of-touch, power-hungry "democrat leaders" such as Pelosi and Schumer ... we are NEVER going to turn things around. Taking back the Presidency in 2020 just so we can be rid of the likes of DeVos, Perry, Pruitt is not going to change a damn thing if the next Democrat President comes from the mainstream Democratic caucus.
0 # JCM 2018-03-15 13:25
I'll restate what I said. If you can't get the type of Dem you want you still are better off voting any Dem over a republican. In no small part do we have trump as president due to Democrats tearing each other apart. Vote for the best Dems you can but what ever your choice vote for Dems. And as much as you agree with the republicans that Pelosi needs to go, she does have a good record as speaker of the house during the 110th and 111th congress. A lot better than say Paul Ryan. It is time for more progressive leaders. Lamb won running a conservative campaign, he might have won even more if he ran more progressive.
+45 # Wise woman 2018-03-08 16:12
The GOP is the last place one could look for evidence of morality. Perry must be practicing to woo the dumb dumbs in November with that speech of his. It's astonishing how everything out of their mouths says bad things are good and vice versa. And too many people believe them.
+21 # BetaTheta 2018-03-08 23:05
Perry is standing in a hole up to his eyeballs, and claiming it is the moral high ground. Never was known for his acuity.
+3 # Henry 2018-03-11 10:00
Perry makes George Bush look like a genius.
+18 # relegn 2018-03-09 07:31
The barking of corporate lap-dogs has become a constant backdrop to US policy since our Supreme Leader came to Washington. It is laughable to hear amoral politicians talk about morality.
+7 # Observer 47 2018-03-09 10:31
That barking was going on L-O-N-G before the Dumpster arrived at 1600. As in, maybe a century and a half or more before.
+9 # economagic 2018-03-09 08:39
"'Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them you can’t have electricity,' said Perry. . . .

Perry’s logic and morality are both blinkered."

Yes, because electricity is not food. More to the point, most renewable energy sources are used to produce electricity. Biofuels re the only exception I can think of, with a dubious advantage at best over other sources of combustibles.
+2 # draypoker 2018-03-10 18:32
Quoting economagic:
"Biofuels re the only exception I can think of, with a dubious advantage at best over other sources of combustibles.

Biogas has very real advantages. It can be made on small peasant plots, as well as on big commercial farms. It does not increase CO2 in the atmosphere. It does not need to be imported. It does not need a transmission system if it is made on small farms.
+16 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-03-09 09:18
Perry is incapable of neither moral nor intelligent thought, as the catastrophes of his governership of Texas make dazzlingly clear.
+10 # draypoker 2018-03-09 09:50
I want people in African countries to use electricity. Does he think it is wrong to encourage them to get it from solar energy, wind, hydropower and biogas? And why not use these in Europe and America? We have to stop adding to the CO2 content of the atmosphere.
+19 # Texas Aggie 2018-03-09 10:15
Gov Goodhair was never known for his intellectual prowess. He had one trick that kept him in office as governor and that was to give taxpayer funds to his supporters. He even set up two funds, supposedly to attract jobs, that he, the lt gov and the AG controlled. Somehow the vast majority of the money went to corporations that contributed generously to Goodhair's reelection war chest.

He's the one that said that despite TX leading the nation in teen pregnancies, teaching abstinence works. He's the one who said the solution to a drought wasn't better water control but prayer for rain. (and then he got it and it flooded out a good bit of north TX but the rest continued with a drought). Goodhair is also the person who fired a photographer for taking a picture of Goodhair and a coal baron in tight embrace.

Goodhair is just one more example of how drumpf isn't about to select anyone with even a modicum of capability and expertise to be in his administration.
+9 # chrisconno 2018-03-09 11:24
Pandering to the greed heads no matter the long term consequences is what is immoral.
+1 # Robbee 2018-03-09 16:59
Energy Secretary Rick Perry Says Moving From Fossil Fuels to Renewables Is 'Immoral'
By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress
08 March 18

- who hired dick to be energy secretary? god?
0 # draypoker 2018-03-19 15:42
Quoting Robbee:
Energy Secretary Rick Perry Says Moving From Fossil Fuels to Renewables Is 'Immoral'
By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress
08 March 18

- who hired dick to be energy secretary? god?

If this is true he doesn't understand anything about energy.
+2 # DongiC 2018-03-09 17:17
Governor Scott faces a dilemna: sign the anti-gun bill into law or risk the white hot anger of Floridians who are fed up with his position on guns. Decision time has arrived, dear Governor. Tell us where you stand!
+3 # Elroys 2018-03-10 11:57
Congratulations to Rick Perry for winning the "trumpster" award (kinda like an Oscar) for the most "insane, corrupt, ignorant, lying hypocrisy of the week" from the trump cabal. Perry (and trump) is beyond immoral - this guy is a criminal. It's lie shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater, doors locked, and no fire. Beyond sick, Rick.

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