Energy Exchange

What to look for as EPA readies landmark methane rules

EPA is preparing to release proposed rules to cut oil and gas methane pollution from both new and existing facilities — one of the most critical and cost-effective actions we can take to immediately slow the rate of global warming and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Recognizing the importance of this opportunity, yesterday, over 70 community, health, tribal and environmental organizations sent EPA a letter expressing strong support for its efforts to develop methane pollution safeguards and urging the agency to propose protective and comprehensive standards for new and existing sources.

By leveraging advanced technologies and ensuring meaningful coverage, the rules can secure the substantial, science-based pollution reductions needed to help address the climate crisis and to ensure healthy communities.

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Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Bipartisan Texas law smooths the path toward a more vibrant EV market

By Daniela de Souza

On September 1, a bill that helps businesses build a better, brighter future for electric vehicles in Texas will become state law.

SB 1202, makes it possible for companies or individuals that own or operate equipment used solely for electric vehicle charging services to avoid being regulated as electric utilities or electric retail providers.

The Texas Utilities Code requires electric utilities to provide continuous and reliable electricity service on a non-discriminatory and transparent basis. In a January 2021 report to the Texas Legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas explained that these safeguards protect customers at their homes and businesses, where uninterrupted electric service preserves lives and livelihoods.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles, Texas / Comments are closed

New IPCC report zeroes in on urgency of reducing methane

The new report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the direst warning yet that we must rapidly and drastically slash climate emissions around the world and that reducing methane emissions is mission critical.

Though the report includes some important opportunities, it’s a very sober read. Let’s get some of the central but troubling conclusions out of the way.

We’ll likely pass 1.5C earlier than expected

Conducted by more than 200 of the world’s most influential climate scientists, the new assessment concludes we’re on course to surpass 1.5 C of warming by 2040, roughly a decade earlier than predicted in IPCC’s 2018 landmark report. A warming of 1.5 C will likely result in stronger and more frequent heat waves, heavier rainfall and flooding, more severe droughts and more powerful storms.

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

Funding to plug and remediate orphan wells moves forward in the Senate

The bipartisan infrastructure bill currently under debate in Washington includes a new, $4.7 billion program to address a significant environmental legacy of the fossil fuel industry — the plugging and remediating of orphan oil and gas wells.

Orphan wells have no owner, so the cleanup liability falls largely to the public. Nearly 60,000 such wells have been documented by state and federal agencies, but there are likely many hundreds of thousands more scattered across more than two dozen states.

Unless properly plugged, oil and gas wells no longer in use pose major environmental hazards. They can contaminate groundwater and surface water resources. They emit methane — a potent greenhouse gas over 80 times more powerful in contributing to warming in the short term than carbon dioxide. They can also release air pollutants that are hazardous to human health.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas, New Mexico / Comments are closed

With oil and gas pollution rules restored, what’s next for EPA on methane?

Last month, President Biden signed into law S.J. Res. 14, a Congressional Review Act resolution restoring methane pollution standards for the oil and gas sector by repealing Trump-era rollbacks. With bipartisan backing, Congress passed the measure and rejected the Trump administration’s dangerous weakening of methane protections and its unlawful attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from setting stronger standards in the future.

With these protections restored, this fall EPA will propose additional standards for both new and existing sources of methane emissions.

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Posted in Colorado, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania / Comments are closed

EDF analysis finds American fleets are embracing electric trucks

By Jason Mathers and Ellen Bell

Truck fleets across the country are enthusiastically embracing the emergence of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks. This is the main finding of a new EDF analysis of public announcements and known deployments of leading fleets. EDF found nearly 500 existing electric deployments and pledges to deploy nearly 300 times more vehicles as additional models become available.

The analysis, which will be updated periodically to reflect new announcements and pledges, is available via a sortable Google Sheet.

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Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed