Energy Exchange

Dynegy wants to re-write the rules on pollution and pass the buck to its customers

For the last several years, Illinois’ largest coal-fired electricity generator has sought ways to saddle customers with the cost – and pollution – of propping up its old, dirty coal plants.

One of Dynegy’s tactics is to re-write pollution regulations and boost profits. At a public hearing next week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and our partners will argue against the rule change and for cleaner, more affordable electricity.

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Posted in General / Read 4 Responses

EPA-New Mexico wastewater report is a conversation starter, not the final word

This blog was co-authored by Colin Leyden and Nichole Saunders

The Environmental Protection Agency and the outgoing Martinez administration in New Mexico have produced a draft white paper and solicited comments on potential ways to reuse or manage the growing volume of wastewater produced by the state’s oil and gas industry.

While the paper is a helpful outline of current produced water policy, New Mexico decision-makers should view it as a conversation starter and not the final word. When it comes to answering questions about whether the oil and gas industry’s wastewater can be safely reused for other purposes, like food crops, livestock or, as the white paper even suggests, drinking water, there are a number of other serious factors to be considered.

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Also posted in Natural Gas, New Mexico, produced water, produced water, Water / Tagged , , , | Comments are closed

Private equity has opportunity to step up on methane, says Harvard Management Company

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Cappucci, Senior Vice President of Compliance and Sustainable Investing at Harvard Management Company (HMC). In a recent blog post, Michael shared his outlook on the methane opportunity for oil and gas companies, along with his opinion on the pace of change within the industry.

Below is the second part of our conversation, where Michael offers new insights on investor ESG engagement and its correlation to portfolio performance. He also talks about private equity’s somewhat quiet stance on methane, and the sector’s potential to bring about change among mid-size operators that have yet to tackle methane emissions.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Tagged , , , | Comments are closed

Grinch utilities and regulators spoil holidays by forcing customers to pay billions for Midwest coal plants

Thanks to Midwest utilities, regulators and a pair of unprofitable power plants, electricity customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana will get a lump of coal this holiday season. The owners keep running these plants at a big loss – projected at over $5 billion – resulting in higher electricity prices and polluting power that isn’t needed.

A challenging setup

As part of the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC), the two plants sit in southern Ohio and Indiana. Nearly 65 years old, these plants were built to power a plant in Piketon, Ohio that enriched uranium for nuclear weapons for the Cold War. The uranium facility ceased operations in 2001, but the power plants continue on.

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Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio / Comments are closed

In memory of Henry Henderson

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Henry Henderson, who spent years advocating for the environment as the head of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Midwest team.

Victor Rojas, Senior Manager for Financial Policy at EDF, had the good fortune to work at the Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) some years ago. Although Henry Henderson had long since moved on to the NRDC, his imprint was felt throughout the entire portfolio of environmental initiatives and projects pursued by DOE. From the groundbreaking Chicago Climate Action Plan to sustainable business and infrastructure; from energy efficiency to brownfields; from habitat preservation to environmental justice – all of them had their genesis in Henry’s tenure as the city’s first DOE Commissioner. As such, his legacy as an innovator and environmental champion remains embedded in City of Chicago environmental efforts to this day.

When EDF started working in Chicago in 2013, Henry was not only extremely welcoming, but also helpful in integrating EDF into the Midwest advocacy scene.

He will be sorely missed.

Posted in General / Comments are closed

California’s move to cut utility gas leaks is a critical part of moving towards a low carbon future

As shown by the recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emissions from fossil fuel combustion in California and elsewhere present dire consequences for the planet. This means California, like the rest of the world, must take real steps now to shift toward a low carbon future.

Similar to many other developed economies, California has a vast oil and gas delivery infrastructure that is integrated into its modern way of life – a system that supports the combustion of fossil fuels in nearly every corner of society. As a result, making dramatic shifts toward a carbon neutral economy as envisioned in a recent executive order by Governor Brown will take a lot of investment. While this investment is underway, it’s appropriate to also make sure the system that delivers energy to homes and businesses is as environmentally benign as possible.

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Also posted in Aliso Canyon, California, Gas to Clean, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed