Jersey Utility to Use Methane Data Mapped by Google Street View Cars to Target Gas Line Repairs

googlecar2Regulators Bless Plans to Use Information Developed by Environmental Defense Fund and Google in $900M Pipeline Upgrade Program to Improve Safety, Reduce Waste and Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New York and New Jersey, like many older communities in the US, have thousands of miles of old, leak-prone gas lines under their streets, some dating back to the late 1800s. Besides safety concerns, this leaking natural gas – which is mostly methane – is a potent greenhouse gas and a huge waste that’s ultimately paid for by utility customers. While major leaks posing immediate risk are typically fixed quickly, thousands of others can persist for months or years.

Until now, it’s been hard to measure the problem on a large scale, or to use that information to better focus on upgrades with the biggest benefit for the buck. Read More »

Posted in Climate, Methane, Natural Gas| Leave a comment

What One Conservative Texas Think Tank Doesn’t Want You to Know about the Clean Power Plan

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Every time I open my hometown newspaper and see a negative op-ed on America’s first nationwide limits on power plant carbon pollution – the Clean Power Plan – I think, “Oh boy. Some new industry water-carrier opposing commonsense efforts to improve public health.”

Now, to be sure, Texas is not the only state where groups have been telling lies and fearmongering in the press about these new clean air standards. But at least here in Texas, there seems to be one group in particular that’s leading the pack of spreading misinformation: Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). They’ve been regurgitating the same tired, anti-science, anti-health nonsense for years.

A conservative think tank based in Austin, Texas, TPPF claims it is trying to protect people’s wallets – which is true if by ‘people,’ you mean its members. Just take a look at its donor list, which includes out-of-state interests like the Koch Brothers and Big Tobacco, as well as major coal players like The American Coalition for Clean Coal and Texas coal-burning electric generators.

The truth is, they don’t want Texans to realize the pollution standards are good for our health, water supply, and economy. Here are a few other things they’d prefer you didn’t know about the Clean Power Plan: Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Clean Power Plan, Climate, Energy Efficiency, Solar Energy, Texas, Wind Energy| Read 2 Responses

A Big Climate Opportunity for Mexico in Dealing with Methane Now

4842884636_c8570c28d7_zMexico is getting good news today about a strategy it can use to help meet its 25% greenhouse gas reduction pledge by 2030. A new report conducted by energy research firm ICF International found that by using available and low-cost technologies, Mexico can cut 54% of its methane emissions from the oil and gas sector for less than one peso per ton of carbon dioxide. Not only does this keep a very potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere, methane is 84 times more powerful than CO2 in intensifying warming, but by capturing it, methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, Mexico wastes less energy.

The Mexican government showed leadership in recognizing the importance of reducing short-lived climate pollutants like methane in its climate pledge to the UN Climate Change Conference. And ICF’s study suggests that reductions in oil and gas methane emissions can be a valuable tool as Mexico considers how it will implement policies to meet its goal. Read More »

Posted in General, Military, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

New Investor Network Aims to “Close the Gap” on Energy Efficiency Financing

1294_Skyscrapers from Below By: Jeff Milum, Director of Market Development, Investor Confidence Project 

40 percent of all energy in the U.S. is used by buildings, which also accounts for one-third of our country’s greenhouse gases emissions. This represents a huge opportunity, both for climate action and financial gain.

There’s just one problem: Project developers often have trouble finding financing for projects, even though investors who are looking to finance building efficiency upgrades are in need of more quality projects. This conundrum is increasingly apparent as more mainstream investors are entering the energy efficiency sector searching for investments with consistent, long-term yields, as well as “green” attributes.

That’s why Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is proud to announce the launch of the ICP Investor Network. By connecting investors who are seeking quality projects with trained and vetted project developers who are originating certified ICP-certified energy efficiency projects, ICP is working to help close this gap. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, General, Investor Confidence Project| Comments are closed

Recycling Wastewater from Oil and Gas Wells Poses Challenges

15636034581_6f13aaccfc_zEach year, the oil and gas industry produces more than 800 billion gallons of wastewater. Coupling the massive volumes of wastewater generated over the life of the well and the millions of gallons of water needed to hydraulically fracture each well, it’s easy to see that oil and gas exploration and production is just as much a water issue as it is an energy issue.

With growing frequency, this huge volume of oil and gas wastewater – which contains hundreds of chemicals resulting from operations as well as underground water that is usually heavily laden with salt and naturally-occurring pollutants – is being recycled, and some groups are pushing for mandatory recycling policies. Sounds great. After all, recycling is good for the environment, right? Read More »

Posted in General, Natural Gas| Read 1 Response

Driving the Last Spike: Linking California’s Electric Grid to Extend Clean Energy’s Reach

East_and_West_Shaking_hands_at_the_laying_of_last_rail_Union_Pacific_Railroad_-_Restoration“When the connection was finally made the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific engineers ran their engines up until their pilots touched. Then the engineers shook hands and had their pictures taken and each broke a bottle of champagne on the pilot of the other's engine and had their picture taken again.” 

          –  Alexander Topence on the scene in Promontory,                   Utah in 1869 after Western governors drove the                    “last spike” of the Transcontinental Railroad.

These are good times for clean energy in California. A decade of visionary policymaking, a motivated private sector, and copious sunshine have joined together to reduce the cost of solar in the Golden State by 90 percent.

We already produce more solar energy than any other state. And thanks to a new law Governor Jerry Brown signed last month, SB 350 (De León), California has committed itself to yet another ambitious clean energy goal: 50 percent of electricity in the nation’s most populous state will come from renewables by 2030. Solar is a central part, among others, of California’s strategy to meet this new target.

Amid all this optimism, fast solar growth poses challenges as well. A lot of it has to do with timing. Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy| Comments are closed
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