Energy Exchange

Pennsylvania bill gives conventional drillers pass to cut corners, lets communities pay the price

In recent years, Pennsylvania has become an epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing boom. But even as production from “unconventional” wells – those using horizontal drilling and fracking – has grown, nearly 90% of the state’s 120,000 active wells are older, “conventional” vertical ones that typically rely on traditional drilling methods.

What does that mean for Pennsylvanians? Quite simply, it means that smart, commonsense policies for conventional wells matter. A lot.

However, the state legislature is considering SB 790, which could unravel well-established oil and gas protections while shifting many costs associated with conventional production to taxpayers. As the bill makes its way through the legislature, here are some key facts to keep in mind:

Read More »

Posted in General, Natural Gas, Pennsylvania / Tagged , , , | Comments are closed

California’s new long-term gas plan is a win for customers and the environment

As California moves to decarbonize its electric grid by 2045 and implement its broader economy-wide decarbonization targets, state regulators are beginning to develop a coordinated, equitable and cost-effective plan to proactively manage the transition of the legacy gas system.

Tomorrow, the California Public Utilities Commission is set to open a new rulemaking on its long-term gas planning, the first such rulemaking since 2004 — well before the state’s greenhouse gas laws went into effect. The California energy system has evolved dramatically in the last 15 years, which is why this type of planning is so important for customers, workers, the economy, and ultimately, the success of the state’s climate goals.

Read More »

Posted in California, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

The next major ESG opportunity for investors in Europe

In recent years, institutional investors have demonstrated their formidable influence, as companies respond to investor environmental, social and governance demands and governments take note of forceful investor calls to action. Europe’s leading investors have been especially active, stepping to the vanguard to address the climate crisis with a sense of urgency and injection of ambition.

As Europe pursues its bold “Green Deal,” European investors have a powerful chance to help address a climate blind spot and policy vacuum to ensure worthy climate goals are not derailed. Investors can do so in a way that generates shareholder value while mitigating one of the largest near-term sources of climate risk. The opportunity lies in addressing methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry, which emits more than 75 million metric tons of the greenhouse gas every year.

Read More »

Posted in Europe, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

New electric buses are a holiday gift for New York City

Early Sunday morning last week I stood on a windy rooftop in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan next to a strikingly modern, blue electric bus. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It is a 60-foot-long articulated bus that bends in the middle and is fully outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and accessories — from USB chargers to heat.

As a climate-solutions advocate, I haven’t been feeling great about the holidays. The news out of Washington, DC isn’t exactly uplifting. The United Nations’ climate talks in Madrid were not easy either and it took too much effort for world leaders to come through with an agreement. Not exactly my idea of holiday cheer.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Congestion pricing, Electric Vehicles, New York / Comments are closed

Decision by federal regulators underscores urgency of passing Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act

On several occasions, we have argued that Illinois leaders should act swiftly to adopt the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Now, we see renewed evidence that the legislation needs to be adopted quickly to defend Illinois customers from skyrocketing electricity prices and protect the environment from dangerous pollution. Indeed, the clock is ticking if Illinois leaders want to prevent such an outcome.

After more than a year awaiting a decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today issued an order that pertains to PJM Interconnection’s capacity market. This market was created to ensure there is enough power reserves in the region spanning portions of Illinois, 12 other states and the District of Columbia to maintain reliability during extreme weather or other unplanned events.

Illinoisans may not realize it, but in addition paying for the energy they use, they also pay for power to be on standby for extreme events, like a polar vortex or heat wave. But they’re about to pay a lot more under this new ruling from FERC — both in electricity bills and environmental health costs.

Read More »

Posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

EPA’s methane rollback sparks opposition from a diverse group of stakeholders

Over the last few months the Environmental Protection Agency has accepted comments on its proposal to deregulate methane from the oil and gas industry. And based upon the volume and content of comments they have received, the agency should realize opposition to this proposal is both widespread and strong.

It is no surprise that more than 300,000 commenters weighed in to oppose this harmful proposal when you consider that EPA themselves admit it will lead to millions of tons of additional air pollution and potentially prevent any future federal methane regulation of hundreds of thousands of older oil and gas facilities. Not to mention that this proposal will supercharge climate change due to the fact that methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, responsible for a quarter of the warming that we are experiencing today, and the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane pollution.

EPA heard from EDF and other environmental groups, but they also heard from a diverse range of other powerful voices explaining why they oppose this rollback.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico / Comments are closed