Energy Exchange

Utilities planning to move Californians to time-of-use pricing need solutions for low-income customers

By Andy Bilich, clean energy analyst, and Jamie Fine, senior economist

Last month, all three of California’s major investor-owned utilities submitted applications to the California Public Utilities Commission detailing their respective strategies for how to transition residential customers to time-of-use pricing. Time-of-use pricing, if done right, is a low-cost strategy to help meet California’s climate and clean energy goals. This innovative tool can help the state rely more on clean energy and less on fossil fuels, at the same time delaying the need for new infrastructure and reducing costs and harmful emissions. While a significant number of Californians will be able to adapt to this new pricing, the shift this summer and next will likely be more challenging for some ─ namely, low-income customers in hot areas of the state.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) supports time-of-use pricing for its benefits to the environment, the electric system, and customer’s pockets. However, the utility plans have some troubling gaps that may prevent the new system working for everyone. For California to pioneer a clean economy for all, the utilities and the commission must proactively overcome barriers facing vulnerable customers who need more help adjusting to time-of-use rates. Read More »

Posted in California, Electricity Pricing, Time of Use / Read 2 Responses

These 4 environmental wins just proved that fighting back works

By Keith Gaby, Senior Communications Director – Climate, Health, and Political Affairs

It’s been almost a year of fighting President Donald Trump’s reckless environmental agenda. For those feeling exhausted by the idea of spending three more years facing these serious threats, it’s good to remember that we can win. In fact, in the last few weeks we’ve scored four significant victories for public health and smart energy policy.

A backwards energy plan is rejected

On January 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously rejected a plan from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to waste money and pollute the air by protecting coal and nuclear plants from competition. Perry had claimed — without evidence — that his bloated plan was needed to provide energy resilience.

FERC made it clear that the proposal fell far short of unbiased, evidence-driven analysis. It was about politics, rather than resilience. Read More »

Posted in New Jersey / Tagged | Comments are closed

How electric trucks could disrupt highway transport and save businesses billions

By Jason Mathers, Supply Chain Director at EDF, Corporate Partnerships

Tesla’s much-anticipated electric semi-truck is garnering attention for its futuristic look and zero-emission promise – and it’s part of an innovation trend that is changing the future of trucking, with implications for entire supply chains.

United Parcel Service, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, PepsiCo and J.B Hunt are among the companies rushing to secure orders of Tesla’s trucks, which are expected to be in production in 2019.

All-electric trucks can bring tangible benefits not just to truck owners, whose conventional vehicles can consume more than $60,000 worth of fuel a year, but also to their customers.

Fuel has long been a top cost for trucking, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the per-mile cost. Because fuel bills are passed on to companies that hire trucks to get their goods to market, electric trucks can thus promise businesses significantly lower and more stable operating costs.

For the business community as a whole, savings could be in the billions.  Read More »

Posted in Electric Vehicles / Read 1 Response

Six ways oil and gas development can contaminate land and water (and what to do about it)

By Adam Peltz and Nichole Saunders

As oil and gas production increases, so does the risk of toxic waste leaking to the environment. The massive amount of briny wastewater generated from oil and gas development can cause serious damage if it comes into contact with the public or our environment.

Consider what happened to the Johnsons, a 4th generation ranching family in New Mexico. More than 400,000 gallons of wastewater spilled on their ranch leaving a dead zone no longer viable to raise cattle or grow crops. Read More »

Posted in Natural Gas, produced water, produced water / Comments are closed

Growing opportunity for China/US collaboration on reducing oil & gas methane emissions

By Zhang Jianyu, China Managing Director, and Mark Brownstein, Vice President, Climate & Energy

Every November, the International Energy Agency publishes its annual World Energy Outlook – a comprehensive assessment of the economic, technological and geopolitical trends shaping world energy markets. That makes it essential reading for anyone interested in preserving the Earth’s climate. This year’s edition offers especially valuable insight into U.S. and China energy trends.

There is little doubt cleaner energy will play a huge role in China’s ongoing development. It is equally certain that China’s energy choices will have enormous effect on energy systems worldwide. The U.S., meanwhile, is becoming a dominant oil and gas producer, and vying for expanded export markets. As the world’s two largest energy users (and greenhouse emitters), both have a climate challenge to solve.

The issue is increasingly important as the two countries’ energy ties grow. Following President Trump’s November China visit, for example, preliminary steps were announced on several multi-billion-dollar initiatives, including the China Energy Investment Corporation plans for a shale gas and chemical project in West Virginia, and an agreement between Cheniere Energy and China National Petroleum Corp for a long-term LNG sales and purchase cooperation. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Tagged | Comments are closed

Exxon joins counterparts in new call for increased global methane action, including regulations

By Ben Ratner and Drew Nelson

In spite of the anti-environmental furor of the Trump administration, 2017 has been a year of encouraging commitments by a growing number of global oil and gas industry leaders – including American oil giant Exxon Mobil – that understand methane emissions is a key business challenge. Methane is a fast-acting climate pollutant and unchecked emissions from the oil and gas sector undermine the credibility of natural gas in the transition to a lower carbon future.

The latest milestone is a commitment by BP, Exxon, Shell and other global energy companies to a set of principles to significantly reduce the amount of methane emitted across the natural gas supply chain. Environmental Defense Fund helped develop the foundational principles alongside the eight companies and other members including the International Energy Agency, UN Environment, the Rocky Mountain Institute and Indian non-profit group TERI.

Similar, yet distinct from other industry commitments made in connection with the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative or the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (see here and here), all of these initiatives are evidence that forward-thinkers understand the stakes and see the long-term business value in addressing methane emissions. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed