The World Without Fossil Fuels

ISO-NE Consumers Meeting Gets Heated
Last week, activists pled with the New England grid operator—ISO-NE—to finally ditch fossil fuels and commit to the energy transition.
Most of the frustration was a response to the construction of a gas peaker plant in Peaboy, Massachusetts, which the activists condemned. One speaker said they wanted this to be the last fossil fuel investment made in the state and asked what it would take to replace the plant with solar plus battery storage.
The ISO-NE was also condemned for burning oil to keep the lights on during harsh winter conditions.
“Every time we come and ask for a just transition, we hear these arguments that ‘ISO has to be neutral; we can’t take a political stance on one form of energy over another,’” said one speaker, as quoted in a piece by RTO Insider. “ISO is already deciding what fuels are present on our grid and picking fossil fuels. My question is, how do we fix this? Do we need to change the tariff? Do we need to abolish [the] ISO itself?”
Another speaker asked ISO-NE to reverse its commitment to well-functioning markets and reliability to instead focus on reducing carbon emissions to stop climate change.
“What we really want to hear is that your heart is in saving life — not in the lights coming on every time someone wants to make an egg,” he said.
“ISO-NE Vice President Anne George pushed back on almost every point,” reports RTO Insider.
“Reliability also affects lives,” she emphasized.


The world without fossil fuels.

  • This short discussion between a New England grid operator and a climate activist group reveals the climate activist view of our future world.
  • New England winters are cold, dark, and long. Transportation is difficult because snow often covers the ground
    • Winter survival requires heat which is provided by wood and fossil fuels.:
    • Lighting is convenience and provided by electricity. It raises living above subsistence survival.
    • Both heat and lighting must be affordable to be useful.
  • Instead of intense fossil fuel heat and lighting, the activists propose weak solar radiation which is unavailable at night, during any bad weather and when the ground is covered in snow. Yet somehow the solar radiation will provide heat, lighting and charge batteries.
  • If weak solar radiation cannot provide sufficient energy to provide heat, lighting, and charge batteries, what then?
  • What will you pay for this marvelous solar radiation, whatever the activists demand, markets will be abolished.
  • Instead of providing the energy required to live in New England, the activists only concern is stopping all carbon dioxide emissions. In their world, carbon dioxide causes climate catastrophe and it is better to freeze in the dark then to experience some undefined, unquantified catastrophe.
  • Fossil fuels produce some pollutants and provide the energy to mitigate the pollution besides producing light and heat.
  • Fossil fuels have made life possible and better for millions of people all over the world in hot, moderate and cold climates. There are more people alive, with longer lives, who are better fed with more leisure time the at any time in history. Perhaps, having a longer, more prosperous life, is a catastrophe to some people


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Seth Grossman, Executive Director

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