Energy Exchange

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

State leaders concerned about safety of reusing oil and gas wastewater

Regulators from across the country met in Vermont this week at the Environmental Council of the State’s (ECOS) fall meeting to discuss some of the nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. I joined members of ECOS’ Shale Gas Caucus to discuss an emerging threat imminently impacting oil and gas-producing states: the question of what to do with the massive amount of wastewater produced by the oil and gas industry each year.

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Also posted in California, Colorado, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, produced water, produced water, State, Texas, Water, Wyoming / Tagged | Comments are closed

Moment of truth arrives for California legislators as clean energy bills clear final amendment hurdles

By Tim O'Connor and Lauren Navarro

The California legislative session closes this Friday, and two important pieces of clean energy and climate legislation (AB 813 and SB 100) hang in the balance.

After months of negotiations and amendments, AB 813 is in the California Senate and is ready for Senate President pro Temp Toni Atkins to assign it to a vote. SB 100 has already passed the Senate and is being considered in the Assembly. Lawmakers should pass both and supercharge the region’s clean energy efforts.

One of the biggest reliability and air quality initiatives in the West, AB 813 would create a regional electric grid and empower Western states to buy and sell more clean energy with each other. That would be good for clean energy efforts in each state, but it would be particularly helpful in California, where we could export our excess clean energy instead of wasting (or curtailing) it. As a result, the region would rely less on local fossil fuel plants to power homes and businesses.

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How New Jersey can finance its bold new clean energy targets

By Dakota Gangi and Mary Barber

On May 23, New Jerseyans scored a major economic and environmental victory when Governor Phil Murphy signed a groundbreaking law that will soon make the Garden State an even greener one. The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has initiated a proceeding that will establish a community solar pilot program within one year of the bill’s signing. Low-income and multifamily households will be able to earn credits on their electric bills for purchasing power from a shared solar array. In just ten years, half the state’s power will come from emissions-free renewable resources, and New Jersey will boast the highest amounts of energy storage and offshore wind in the United States. New Jerseyans can expect clean air, electric bill savings, and the creation of many local and lucrative job openings.

These groundbreaking targets can bring about significant economic growth, especially if New Jersey utilizes a multitude of green financing tools to achieve its goals. The BPU will ensure the state is on track to meet its clean energy goals, as it is putting in place rules and regulations to attract investment. Now, New Jersey should create a green bank to add to its arsenal of green investment mechanisms and to fill the clean energy financing gap identified in EDF’s December 2017 report, Financing New Jersey's Clean Energy Economy: Pathways for Leadership.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing, New Jersey / Read 1 Response

North Carolina celebrates ‘American Wind Week’ with optimism for the future

Governor Roy Cooper has issued a proclamation recognizing August 5-11 as “American Wind Week” here in North Carolina. It’s a good time to reflect on our clean energy progress – as a nation and as a state – and to consider what’s next.

The amount of energy generated from wind turbines has more than tripled in the United States in the last decade, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), representing 6.3 percent of the nation’s generation mix last year. The Tar Heel state can take credit for a tiny portion of that with the 104 turbines generating power at the Amazon East Wind Farm near Elizabeth City, but we are lagging behind with wind representing only 0.4 percent of our state’s energy mix. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, North Carolina / Comments are closed