Full Title: The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges
Author(s): Cara Bottorff, Noah Ver Beek, Leah C. Stokes
Publisher(s): Sierra Club
Publication Date: October 10, 2022
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For the sake of our communities and planet, we must do everything in our power to create a clean, renewable electric grid by 2030. Utilities must lead this transition, but our research shows they are wholly unprepared to do their part. Clean energy is reliable and affordable; electric utilities have no excuse to delay and no time left to waste.
We evaluated integrated resource plans (IRPs) and major announcements from the 50 dirtiest parent companies and 77 operating companies included in our original study (see appendices for details). These include investor-owned utilities, public utilities (such as the Tennessee Valley Authority), generation and transmission co-ops, and large municipal utilities. These companies provide roughly 40 percent of total US generation.
Our analysis found that over the last year and a half, utilities have made little progress. Most are still not on the path to achieve 80 percent clean electricity by 2030. Of the 77 utilities we studied, nearly half of them (44 percent) made no progress or received a lower score than in our previous report. Overall, the aggregate score for all utilities in our analysis was 21.1, up just 4 points from
the previous aggregate score of 17.2. This disappointing inaction occurred despite a tumultuous 18 months of grid reliability crises, blackouts, energy price spikes, and extreme weather events; many of these trace their roots in large part to utilities’ stubborn reliance on expensive and unreliable fossil fuels.