Energy Exchange

2019 grades are in: OGCI companies get an “incomplete” for climate action

Earlier this week, the head of EDF’s energy program, Mark Brownstein, asked whether the oil and gas industry was serious about climate and proposed that Monday’s annual CEO meeting of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative companies, which includes BP, Exxon, Shell and others, could provide an answer.

I attended the meeting and listened for a real plan to transition to a low carbon economy. Though there were some bright spots, it was clear that however serious the industry is about climate, it’s not serious enough. If OGCI companies, individually and collectively, are going to demonstrate that industry can be part of the climate solution at the necessary pace and scale, 2020 is going to have to be a big year.

On the positive side, there is widespread agreement among OCGI members that substantial changes must be made to the energy system to reduce emissions. There were also encouraging reports about advances in methane monitoring and stated ambition to accelerate carbon removal technology, whether from the energy system or the atmosphere.

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Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Zero-emission trucks and buses can improve our climate, clean air future

This week, hundreds of officials from countries, states, cities and companies all over the world are convening in New York to discuss the future of our planet. Among the many solutions being discussed is one that sometimes gets less attention, but holds tremendous opportunity to tackle climate change and clean our air in communities across the globe: zero-emission trucks and buses.

I attended an event hosted by CALSTART where they presented information on their Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Program. This international initiative focuses on driving market development of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles through partnerships that promote supporting policies and investments. We also heard from leading government and corporate players like the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, FedEx and INGKA (formerly the IKEA Group) on the progress they are making to electrify their fleets. As Angela Hultberg, Head of Sustainable Mobility of INGKA, made clear, we are past the point of making commitments, we need to move to implement.

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Posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Four ways EPA methane rollbacks threaten American natural gas

At the behest of the American Petroleum Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to eliminate nationwide limits on methane pollution, sending America’s natural gas industry backwards to the days of uncontrolled emissions. This dangerous proposal threatens the climate, the communities living near oil and gas development and the increasingly vulnerable status of American natural gas in a transition to a net-zero carbon emission economy.

Any business depends on four fundamentals to operate successfully: demand from customers, acceptance from society at large, financial capital to invest and talent to do the work. America’s natural gas industry is no different.

Eliminating methane standards would increase risk to each part of this foundation, making this proposed rollback a prime opportunity for risk-conscious executives and investors to speak out this fall.

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Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Is the oil and gas industry serious about climate?

Hundreds of diplomats and heads of state will converge on the United Nations this week to discuss urgent actions to prevent catastrophic climate change. Just a few blocks away, CEOs and other top executives of the world’s largest oil and gas companies will host a meeting of their own, where they will also be talking about the climate, aiming to showcase the industry’s efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s just a 10-minute walk between the two, but the symbolic journey is more like a thousand miles — and oil and gas producers are still struggling with the first steps. Their New York gathering, part of something called the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), could reveal important signs as to how serious they are about picking up the pace.

That challenge is stark: The world’s economy needs to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by the end of this century if we are to have better-than-even odds of limiting warming to two degrees. Net-zero means not putting more carbon into the atmosphere than we can take out. To hit the global goal, Europe, the U.S. and other advanced economies must get to net-zero by 2050.

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Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Two years after Hurricane Maria, community leader stresses the need for long-lasting solutions

Cristobal Jimenez

Cristobal Jimenez is a community leader in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He is one of the many survivors of Hurricane Maria. Recently, Cristobal and members of his community have been working to find long-lasting solutions to their energy challenges, effective ways to address the needs of their families and preparations for the future in the wake of superstorms.

Below is an edited version of the conversation we had with him.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Puerto Rico / Comments are closed

Strategies for smarter, cleaner buildings in California

California’s buildings are one of the largest remaining emitters of greenhouse gases. Building emissions come from appliances that combust gas, such as water heaters and furnaces, but are also from our refrigerators, air conditioners and other heavy-duty appliances that are either always on or use a lot of electricity.

California has spent decades making our appliances more efficient through robust energy efficiency programs and other projects. But at a recent hearing at the California Energy Commission, lead Commissioner Andrew McAllister suggested a new vision for reducing the greenhouse gas pollution coming from our homes and buildings: What if the electrified devices in our home could talk to the electric grid?

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Posted in California, Demand Response, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas / Comments are closed