Energy Exchange

How oil & gas states did (and did not) protect land and water in 2020

More than 30 states actively regulate oil and gas development with a variety of practices and rules designed to reduce health, safety and environmental impacts. States engage in a process of continuous improvement by adopting new rules and practices as technologies and risk mitigation techniques evolve — even in an extraordinary year like 2020. EDF tracks state trends in oil and gas regulation related to the protection of land, water and local communities, reporting notable state actions each year.

2020 presented multiple challenges for the oil and gas industry and state regulators, including the twin shocks of an OPEC price war and a steep decline in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, many states showed strong commitment to ensuring environmental integrity by adopting critical new rules across a variety of topics.

Here are the big things we saw in 2020.

Read More »

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

What Biden’s methane focus means for energy industry, its investors

A journey of miles starts with a single step, and for the U.S. oil and gas industry and its financiers, supporting strong and swift methane regulation by the incoming Biden administration is a big step on the road to climate progress.

Cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is the single fastest thing we can do to limit the rate at which our climate is warming. There is no more impactful way to make up for lost time than finally instituting stringent standards to slash methane emissions from all sources across industry.

That’s because the emissions problem is egregious, the technology solutions abundant and cost effective, and the policy routes straightforward.

The old voluntary versus regulatory debate is behind us. Now, with the Biden administration firmly committed to reducing oil and gas methane emissions, a new era has begun.

Read More »

Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons, PermianMAP / Comments are closed

What our climate goals mean for natural gas, and what states should do about it

The transition to a low-carbon economy will have a big impact on the way we think about natural gas: how we produce, use and transport it. One area where this challenge is particularly acute is the state regulatory frameworks governing gas utilities across the country, and in particular, how those rules line up against the climate goals now being set by a growing number of states.

States that don’t re-envision the way their gas utility systems run will be challenged to meet their climate targets. To help states avoid that fate, EDF has developed a new guide suggesting ways that state regulators can navigate this complex challenge.

Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Colorado, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas, New York / Comments are closed

In 2021 we must set more ambitious targets for zero-emission trucks and buses

There is no question that 2020 was a hard year — for some, it was the hardest year of their lives. Yet despite the historic difficulty of 2020, there were some climate and air quality bright spots. For example, the march toward zero-emission trucks and buses is on. In 2021, we should increase our ambition.

Falling battery and vehicle prices, increased vehicle availability and a growing recognition that we must reduce climate and local air pollution from the transportation sector have sparked the transformation away from fossil fuel trucks and buses — classified as medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. In July, a coalition of 15 states and Washington D.C. committed to accelerating the transition of diesel trucks and buses to zero-emission alternatives. In so doing, they are committing to zero-emission sales targets — 30% of new truck and bus sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Given that these states represent about one-third of the U.S. truck market, this commitment is a big step forward.

However, these goals do not represent the level of speed or scope needed to adequately address the significant health and climate change concerns posed by trucks and buses.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM / Comments are closed

Electrifying Texas’ successful emission reduction program

A new Environmental Defense Fund analysis finds that Texas’ successful emission reduction program could be even more powerful if it went electric — not just for reducing smog-forming nitrogen oxides and other local air pollutants, but for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and sparking job growth in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

Administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan provides financial incentives to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment. The bulk of TERP funding has been dedicated to quickening the replacement of larger diesel vehicles — medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Since 2001, more than 35,000 TERP projects totaling over $1.3 billion in grants have reduced upwards of 183,000 tons of NOx, a major driver of the state’s air quality challenges.

Applying TERP’s annual grants to spur the electrification of Texas’ truck and bus fleets would decrease NOx emissions faster and for as little as one-third the cost per ton of NOx compared to TERP’s past grant programs.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, Texas / Comments are closed

New government in Puerto Rico must focus on transforming the energy sector

En español

In recent years, we have witnessed how legislation seeks to transform the electricity sector in Puerto Rico. In 2014, the Energy Transformation and RELIEF Act was approved, which for the first time created an independent regulatory entity capable of overseeing and enforcing Puerto Rico’s energy policy. Five years later, in 2019, the Public Energy Policy Law passed, with a bipartisan vote, which essentially mandates Puerto Rico source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.

With a new government in Puerto Rico, there is a historic opportunity to execute public policies capable of transforming the archipelago’s electric system, having a positive impact on future generations. That is why it is extremely important for Puerto Ricans that the directives and goals established in the Integrated Resource Plan of the Electric Power Authority be implemented as modified by the Energy Bureau. This will ensure that the electrical system is clean, reliable, resilient and affordable in order to revitalize the economy and improve the quality of life of all residents.

Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Puerto Rico / Comments are closed