Energy Exchange

With its new zero-emission commitment, FedEx raises the bar on climate leadership

The pace of vehicle electrification continues to pick up steam. The latest company to make a big splash is FedEx — the delivery behemoth with more than 80,000 vehicles in its fleet. The company announced its pickup and delivery fleet will include only zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

This is an important step forward, not just for FedEx, but for the delivery vehicle market in general. The delivery vehicle market is particularly ripe for electrification, with numerous vehicle options already on or coming to the market. Recognizing the readiness of the technology, delivery company customers are pushing for their fleet partners to embrace these vehicles.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Market certainty critical to hitting ambitious state zero-emission truck goals

Last year, a collection of 15 states and Washington D.C. committed to transitioning to zero-emission trucks and buses via a multi-state memorandum of understanding. This year will be a critical year for the effort, as these states begin to pinpoint the suite of policies needed to foster this transition in an equitable, maximally beneficial way.

The first critical step for these states is to get the ambition right. The targets set out in the MOU are a good start, but they can and should be more aggressive.

The second is to create the market certainty that will be critical to unleashing innovation.

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

A clear path to protecting Texas from the next weather crisis

By Colin Leyden and John Hall

The aftermath of the storm we just endured will linger a lot longer than the average Texas winter.

At least 80 people died. Millions of families lost power and water service as broad swaths of our critical infrastructure froze up. Families, businesses and cities are still tallying the damage, but this crisis could surpass Hurricane Harvey’s $125 billion price tag and become the most expensive natural disaster in Texas history. Our most vulnerable communities were hit hardest by outages, and, in a cruel twist, some Texans (many of whom lost service during the crisis) are facing exorbitant electric bills because of disaster-induced market volatility.

This week, Texas began to pick up the pieces, identify what went wrong, and develop a plan to protect our citizens from extreme weather crises in the future.

Texans are mad, and we deserve to be. Preparation could have avoided this disaster. Texas leaders knew what to do, and they didn’t do it.

Texans deserve a comprehensive analysis of what happened, why it happened, and what state leaders and energy industry participants will do to ensure it never happens again. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Equity, General, State, Texas / Comments are closed

A teachable moment: Zero-emission school buses are a winning proposition

Every pre-COVID school day, approximately 480,000 school buses carry more than 25 million children to school across the United States. Most of them run on diesel fuel and spew pollution that causes cancer, triggers asthma attacks and makes climate change worse. Indeed, of the over 40,000 school buses registered in the U.S. in 2019, only 240 were zero-emission (and only about 1% of school buses are electric). This picture will not improve without intervention — barring additional measures, only 27,000 of the projected 560,000 school buses that will be built in the next 10 years will be electric.

Luckily, that intervention is starting to arrive. Today, Senator Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Senator Murray (D-WA), Representative Cardenas (D-CA) and Representative Hayes (D-CT) introduced the Clean School Bus Act a groundbreaking piece of legislation that will provide grants for infrastructure and vehicles, with an emphasis on deploying them in communities hardest hit by health-impacting air pollution.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

A year of data and one clear message: Permian flaring remains a major problem

By Colin Leyden and Ben Hmiel

Even amidst a global pandemic and market volatility that reduced oil and gas activity, at least one thing didn’t change in the Permian last year: operators can’t seem to keep their flares lit.

Throughout 2020, EDF conducted aerial surveys of portions of the Permian Basin to determine the performance of natural gas flares. Even when done properly, flaring is a wasteful, polluting practice that has earned industry “a black eye.” But when flares malfunction they also become major sources of highly potent, climate-polluting methane.

Over the course of 2020, we conducted periodic surveys of flares in various parts of the Permian. These took place in February, March, June and November, and included a series of consecutive, repeat surveys of one specific area on November 2, 4 and 6 meant to understand how long flare malfunctions persist. In total, we studied nearly 1,200 flares in the region.

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Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico, PermianMAP, Texas / Comments are closed

Biden has an opportunity to accelerate recovery in Puerto Rico

By Agustín F. Carbó and Daniel Whittle

En español

It’s a new day for the United States and Puerto Rico. With a new president and a new governor, Puerto Rico can turn a new page, and continue rebuilding — even better than before. This couldn’t come at a better time. President Biden’s climate and clean energy strategy is the boldest, most far-reaching we’ve ever seen from a U.S. President. Under this plan, Puerto Rico should receive federal support in reaching its own far-sighted clean energy goals. In doing so, the island can become a model of resilience and innovation for the nation and the Caribbean.

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