When credibility is your stock in trade, it’s important to have your facts straight. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal blew it.
In an unsigned opinion piece dubbed “Meth Heads in the White House,” the paper dismisses plans expected to be announced by the Obama administration in the next few weeks that would start to tackle the huge amount of methane leaking from America’s oil & gas production facilities.
The question is a significant one, because – as the article notes in passing – methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas (in point of fact, packing more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20 year time frame). According to EPA data, oil & gas operations emit roughly 8 million metric tons of unburned methane annually, enough gas to heat nearly 6 million homes. Read More
America is in the midst of two booms: one in sensor technology and another in natural gas. Recent innovations—specifically advancements in drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies—have dramatically increased the nation’s access to reserves of natural gas. While this influx of new technology has altered the energy industry, the resulting large-scale development has brought with it some real environmental and climate risks. Now is the time for the same ingenuity that transformed America’s energy landscape to help identify solutions to reduce the impacts caused by increasing supplies of natural gas.
Just this last month, two innovator programs were announced – one led by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and another from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) – both are focused on developing new technologies capable of minimizing methane emissions from the natural gas supply chain. The programs are different but complementary and together signal there is momentum building to engage the best and brightest innovators to help address a consequential component of the climate issue. Read More
Day 4 of the ongoing hearings on a groundbreaking proposal to reduce air and climate pollution from oil and gas operations in Colorado saw Team EDF pushing back on claims opposition groups have made to try to weaken the proposal.
Leading companies Noble, Anadarko, Encana and DCP also put on strong cases, using their own operational data to show the proposal is cost effective. They should be lauded for their leadership, as should local governments and conservation groups that brought strong analytics to the hearings.
If the proposal is adopted without being weakened, it will eliminate more than 90,000 tons of smog-forming VOCs annually (the same amount produced by all the cars and trucks in Colorado) and more than 100,000 tons of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Colorado, General, Methane, Natural Gas Also tagged climate change, Colorado, environment, fracking, Methane, Natural Gas
Source: Iwan Baan
By: Rory Christian, Director of New York Smart Power, and Mary Barber, Director of Smart Power Initiatives
It was only a year ago that the most devastating storm the Northeast has ever seen slammed into the region. Hurricane Sandy pummeled the states of New York and New Jersey, destroying homes and businesses and knocking out electricity for millions of families for days, weeks and – in some cases – months.
The unprecedented situation shined a much-needed spotlight on the vulnerability of our century-old energy infrastructure, placing the issue front and center for the region’s state and local leaders, electric utility companies and regulators, particularly as climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather events. Utilities in the region have since begun to fortify flood-prone substations among other reinforcements to the power grid, but improvements that are ‘status quo’ are only part of the solution to future challenges.
Ensuring the adoption of technologies and policies that move the U.S. power grid into the 21st century, making it more resilient, flexible and smarter, can simultaneously accomplish today’s goals while preparing for future challenges – some of which may not yet be apparent. EDF is working closely with stakeholders to find innovative and pragmatic solutions to help modernize our aging energy infrastructure, an improvement that is crucial to resiliency, safety and storm recovery. Read More
This commentary originally appeared on EDF's California Dream 2.0 blog.
With the stroke of a pen, North American efforts to combat climate change and promote clean energy reached a new level today.
I was lucky enough to witness the historic event, as Governor Jerry Brown joined the leaders of Oregon, Washington State and the Canadian province of British Columbia, to sign an agreement that formally aligns climate and clean energy policies in the four jurisdictions.
This signing by these “Fab Four” of the Pacific Coast Collaborative makes sense given all they have in common: they’re geographically connected, share infrastructure, and their combined regional economy accounts for a $2.8 trillion GDP, making it the world’s fifth largest economy.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley continues to lead the way on climate and clean energy policy. On Thursday, he unveiled Maryland’s new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGRA) Plan. Gov. O’Malley’s plan raises the targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency and peak energy demand reduction, while re-affirming Maryland’s membership in the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The plan adds new climate programs relating to transportation and forestry, and a new aspirational goal to make Maryland a zero-waste state.
Maryland is particularly vulnerable to climate change with 3,000 miles of shoreline along scenic Chesapeake Bay. The state ranks 42nd in total area, but 10th in coastline area. Gov. O’Malley has addressed climate change since his early days in office. In 2007, he established the Maryland Climate Change Commission to address the causes and effects of climate change in Maryland and develop an action plan. The Maryland Climate Action Plan (Plan) was issued in August 2008, and Gov. O’Malley has labored diligently to implement the plan since that time.
The new Plan calls for increasing the renewable energy portfolio standard from 20% to 25% by 2022, as well as the energy efficiency and peak demand reduction targets (with the new, higher targets to be announced at a later date). Like a true leader, Gov. O’Malley aims high and is unafraid to be different. His call to raise these clean energy standards comes at a time when some states have been unsuccessfully pressured by the fossil-fuel industry to consider lowering their clean energy standards.