Energy Exchange

SoCalGas wants a lifeline to stay in business — suing California is not the answer.

Earlier this month, the largest gas utility in the country filed a lawsuit against the state of California for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Southern California Gas Company claims in its suit that the California Energy Commission has not properly considered what role natural gas can play in a clean energy future.

It is a pretty bold move from SoCalGas — the company that supplies a fossil fuel that inherently runs counter the long-term benefit of the environment, and was responsible for the massive 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak that for months on end sent nearly a hundred thousand tons of potent methane gas into the atmosphere.

This is a spurious argument aimed at advancing the false notion that gas utilities should continue to provide customers with gas, whether they want it or not.

Read More »

Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Rolling blackouts in California prove conventional power plants need to become extinct

On Monday this week, I got into my electric car and the following image popped up.

Image courtesy of electrek

My car was encouraging me to shift my charging patterns. Why?

California, along with large chunks of the rest of the West, is experiencing one of the worst heat storms on record. The weather pattern was abnormal, with less wind to cool people off at night. Since the heat storm hit most of the West, the ability to import power from our neighbors was also greatly compromised. The weather pattern also created over 11,000 lightning strikes, which sparked several wildfires throughout the state. In turn, those wildfires resulted in changed grid operations. Last, with more people staying home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, energy demands are higher and different than normal. As a result of all of these factors, the state’s electric grid operator issued an emergency alert, which triggered the state’s first rolling blackout in nearly two decades.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

New multi-state collaboration makes an important commitment to electric trucks and buses

As our nation grapples with a historic public health crisis, 15 states and the District of Columbia are showing leadership by committing to address a dangerous culprit that makes us more vulnerable to COVID-19 and climate change: diesel pollution from trucks and buses.

These pollutants have significant negative consequences on air quality and health. Despite comprising just 10% of vehicles on the road across the U.S., trucks and buses are responsible for 57% of fine particulate matter, 45% of oxides of nitrogen and 28% of greenhouse gas emissions for that sector.

Besides increased planetary warming, pollution from diesel vehicles leads to a higher rate of asthma, heart attacks and premature deaths — ailments that disproportionately affect people of color and disadvantaged communities, which often border freight corridors, ports and depots. A growing body of evidence suggests that people with respiratory illnesses, often caused or exacerbated by transportation-related pollution, are more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19. Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Colorado, Electric Vehicles, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Washington, DC / Tagged | Comments are closed

Electrifying trucks and buses is an opportunity for lasting change, one we can’t afford to miss

The U.S. is still struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 and quantify the human and economic consequences of this historic tragedy. But already, leaders are contemplating how we’ll restore our economies. Will we rebuild a replica of what we had, or will we invest in ideas that will make society more resilient, healthier, cleaner and more equitable?

The transportation sector is on the cusp of massive change, and one segment within it is ripe for reinvention: medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. These include everything from semi-trucks and delivery vans, to city buses and garbage trucks — the overwhelming majority of which are powered by diesel engines.

Electrifying this segment was an opportunity for lasting change before the COVID-19 economic crash. Now that countries are considering where to invest to rebuild their economies, it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Tagged | Comments are closed

Three things California should do to prepare for more electric trucks and buses

California is moving fast to replace dirty, gas-guzzling heavy-duty vehicles with cleaner, electric choices as a way to combat air pollution and climate change.

Both fleets and electric utilities need to rethink the way they build the charging stations needed to power these vehicles. Charging stations should be as affordable as possible, and help electric vehicles integrate more renewable energy into the grid. The California Public Utilities Commission is working with stakeholders to set out key guidelines, targets and metrics to reach those goals. This process, known as the Transportation Electrification Framework, is unquestionably a step in the right direction, but in order to maximize its impact there are some key things the CPUC should keep in mind.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Now is not the time to pump the brakes on fleet electrification

The coupled economic impacts of the pandemic and global oil crisis are expected to hit passenger electric vehicle sales hard, with a recent Bloomberg analysis predicting an 18% drop in sales this year. But many commercial fleets and state policymakers are continuing to push forward on their plans to electrify trucks and buses, even in these uncertain times.

We are seeing proof of this across the zero-emission vehicles market. In order to meet their long-term climate commitments as well as near-term policy requirements, fleet operators are continuing to accelerate their investments in electrification.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed