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Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change

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Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday told lawmakers that recent extreme weather events in Texas underscored the need to better incorporate climate change risks into energy infrastructure.

“Climate change means that the weather patterns of the past are not adequate to inform those of the future,” Moniz said at a hearing hosted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“As we increase electrification of key sectors, we must thoughtfully approach these requirements for, and risks to, a modernized electric grid,” he added. “In addition, increased electrification of other parts of the economy necessitates a substantial buildout of the grid system, from transmission lines to substations and transformers, to distribution systems and [electric vehicle] charging stations, all the way to heat pumps for homes.”

Moniz, who served during the Obama administration, noted that both the failure of the Texas grid and rolling blackouts in parts of California were indicative of the need to protect energy infrastructure from extreme climate events.

“Research, development, and demonstration of grid resilience technologies will be critically important to preserving reliability, an essential role of the federal government,” he added.

Moniz’s comments came during a hearing on the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act, a wide-ranging infrastructure bill introduced last […]

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