Energy Exchange

What our climate goals mean for natural gas, and what states should do about it

The transition to a low-carbon economy will have a big impact on the way we think about natural gas: how we produce, use and transport it. One area where this challenge is particularly acute is the state regulatory frameworks governing gas utilities across the country, and in particular, how those rules line up against the climate goals now being set by a growing number of states.

States that don’t re-envision the way their gas utility systems run will be challenged to meet their climate targets. To help states avoid that fate, EDF has developed a new guide suggesting ways that state regulators can navigate this complex challenge.

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Posted in California, Clean Energy, Colorado, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas, New York / Comments are closed

In 2021 we must set more ambitious targets for zero-emission trucks and buses

There is no question that 2020 was a hard year — for some, it was the hardest year of their lives. Yet despite the historic difficulty of 2020, there were some climate and air quality bright spots. For example, the march toward zero-emission trucks and buses is on. In 2021, we should increase our ambition.

Falling battery and vehicle prices, increased vehicle availability and a growing recognition that we must reduce climate and local air pollution from the transportation sector have sparked the transformation away from fossil fuel trucks and buses — classified as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. In July, a coalition of 15 states and Washington D.C. committed to accelerating the transition of diesel trucks and buses to zero-emission alternatives. In so doing, they are committing to zero-emission sales targets — 30% of new truck and bus sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Given that these states represent about one-third of the U.S. truck market, this commitment is a big step forward.

However, these goals do not represent the level of speed or scope needed to adequately address the significant health and climate change concerns posed by trucks and buses.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM / Comments are closed

Electrifying Texas’ successful emission reduction program

A new Environmental Defense Fund analysis finds that Texas’ successful emission reduction program could be even more powerful if it went electric — not just for reducing smog-forming nitrogen oxides and other local air pollutants, but for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sparking job growth in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

Administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan provides financial incentives to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment. The bulk of TERP funding has been dedicated to quickening the replacement of larger diesel vehicles — medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Since 2001, more than 35,000 TERP projects totaling over $1.3 billion in grants have reduced upwards of 183,000 tons of NOx, a major driver of the state’s air quality challenges.

Applying TERP’s annual grants to spur the electrification of Texas’ truck and bus fleets would decrease NOx emissions faster and for as little as one-third the cost per ton of NOx compared to TERP’s past grant programs.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, Texas / Comments are closed

New government in Puerto Rico must focus on transforming the energy sector

En español

In recent years, we have witnessed how legislation seeks to transform the electricity sector in Puerto Rico. In 2014, the Energy Transformation and RELIEF Act was approved, which for the first time created an independent regulatory entity capable of overseeing and enforcing Puerto Rico’s energy policy. Five years later, in 2019, the Public Energy Policy Law passed, with a bipartisan vote, which essentially mandates Puerto Rico source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.

With a new government in Puerto Rico, there is a historic opportunity to execute public policies capable of transforming the archipelago’s electric system, having a positive impact on future generations. That is why it is extremely important for Puerto Ricans that the directives and goals established in the Integrated Resource Plan of the Electric Power Authority be implemented as modified by the Energy Bureau. This will ensure that the electrical system is clean, reliable, resilient and affordable in order to revitalize the economy and improve the quality of life of all residents.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Puerto Rico / Comments are closed

Nuevo gobierno de Puerto Rico debe enfocarse en transformar el sector eléctrico

En inglés

En los últimos años, hemos sido testigos de cómo se ha aprobado legislación que busca transformar el sector eléctrico en Puerto Rico. En el 2014 se aprobó la Ley de Transformación y ALIVIO Energético, que por primera vez crea un ente regulador independiente capaz de fiscalizar y darle cumplimiento a la política pública energética de Puerto Rico. Cinco años luego, en el 2019 se aprueba, y de manera bipartita, la Ley de Política Pública Energética, que en síntesis crea la meta de alcanzar un 100% de generación por fuentes renovables para el 2050.

Ahora que en Puerto Rico entramos en un nuevo ciclo político, tenemos la oportunidad histórica para ejecutar correctamente las políticas públicas capaces de transformar el sistema eléctrico del archipiélago y tener impactos positivos para las futuras generaciones. Por eso, es de suma importancia para los puertorriqueños que se implementen las directrices y metas trazadas en el Plan Integrado de Recursos (“PIR”) de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (“AEE”) según lo modificó el Negociado de Energía. Esto garantizará que el sistema eléctrico sea uno limpio, confiable, resiliente y asequible para poder revitalizar la economía y mejorar la calidad de vida de todos los habitantes.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Climate, Puerto Rico / Comments are closed

5 opportunities for renewed American climate leadership on methane

With Joe Biden winning the 2020 U.S. presidency, attention now shifts to how his administration will prioritize domestic and international climate action in the context of COVID-19 and its related economic repercussions.

Among the most powerful elements of a reinvigorated American climate strategy is assertive action to reduce methane pollution. At least 25% of today’s global warming is caused by methane emissions from human activities, including production and use of fossil fuels, agriculture and municipal waste. One of the world’s largest sources of manmade methane pollution is the oil and gas industry.

Oil and gas methane emissions also present a particularly important climate opportunity, as it offers the most immediate and lowest cost option to reduce a potent greenhouse gas.

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Posted in Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed