Energy Exchange

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 / 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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Posted in General / Comments are closed

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

The race to reduce emissions: Five takeaways from OGCI venture day

The day before the World Gas Conference – one of the energy industry’s largest – 10 companies competed for USD $20 million to fund solutions with the power to disrupt how methane is managed, measured, and reduced.

The money was provided by Oil and Gas Climate Investments, the billion-dollar investment fund tied to the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – a consortium of 10 oil and gas companies sharing knowledge and resources to cut the greenhouse gas footprint of their industry.

OGCI’s investment team and technical experts from member companies provided expertise and consumer-driven insights to select the 10 companies competing at Venture Day from nearly 60 applicants. The goal was to highlight companies and concepts that aren’t just innovative, but scalable and disruptive – something BP CEO and OGCI Chair Bob Dudley made clear: “If a person in the field with a hard hat turning the valves doesn’t get it, it won’t work.”

Not only was Venture Day a moment to showcase how high-tech can be high-impact (despite the companies in the room, it felt more Silicon Valley than Houston), it also represented a noticeable shift in the philosophy around industry investment in the methane space. In what OGCI CEO Pratima Rangarajan dubbed “the year of methane,” Venture Day signaled an inflection point for increased transparency, enhanced coordination, and global vision.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

California sets new standards for natural gas storage sites

Data visualization shows the methane plume from the Aliso Canyon gas leak in red.

Three years ago, a blowout at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility forced thousands of nearby families to evacuate their homes and leaked over 100,000 tons of methane and other harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. The facility’s operator, Southern California Gas, wasn’t prepared for the scope or scale of the disaster that unfolded over four months.

The disaster demonstrated the risks of under-regulated natural gas storage sites, as well as the importance of not being over-reliant on natural gas. Regulators in California and across the country realized the need for better oversight and management.

As a result, California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) recently finalized new rules for managing the risky, industrial enterprise of underground gas storage. These rules are a foray into an underdeveloped policy space, and are the product of collaboration with stakeholders including national laboratories, the environmental community, and the federal government.

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