Energy Exchange

Research shows gathering pipelines in the Permian Basin leaking 14 times more methane than officials estimate

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

By Erin Murphy and Jevan Yu

Methane emissions from natural gas gathering pipelines in the U.S. Permian Basin are at least 14 times greater than Environmental Protection Agency national inventory estimates, according to new peer-reviewed research. Gathering lines transport unprocessed gas from well sites to processing facilities and vary widely in size and pressure, with diameters ranging from two inches to as large as 30 inches. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with over 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and this new research indicates the importance of finding and fixing pipeline methane leaks to mitigate the climate crisis.

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Posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, General, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, PermianMAP / Language: / Comments are closed

The Advanced Clean Fleets rule explained

By Lauren Navarro and Tom Cackette

The Advanced Clean Fleets rule is a purchase requirement for medium and heavy-duty fleets to adopt an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks. It will complement the previously adopted Advanced Clean Trucks regulation requiring manufacturers to sell ZEV trucks. Together the two regulations are the most important means of achieving Gov. Newsom’s executive order requiring 100% of heavy-duty truck fleets in the state to be zero-emission, wherever feasible, by 2045.

We need these rules because heavy-duty trucks currently account for 26% of all smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions in California and about a third of mobile diesel fine particulate matter emissions. They are also major producers of climate change emissions (about 8%) at a time when our planet cannot take any more climate change. Heavy-duty truck emissions are not evenly distributed — they tend to be concentrated in underserved communities, which are often located near warehouses, distribution centers, ports and major roadways.

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Posted in California, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

New study finds flaring source of five times more pollution than previously thought

A new study out today in the journal Science finds that climate-warming methane emissions from flaring, the practice of burning off gas rather than capturing it for productive use, are five times higher than government estimates — primarily due to unlit and malfunctioning flares. Researchers conclude that flares are combusting at a 91% efficiency rate, significantly lower than the 98% efficiency rate that is assumed by operators and policymakers.

These findings confirm that our current environmental standards are not adequately controlling this pollution source and underline the need for urgent regulatory action from the Environmental Protection Agency  and Bureau of Land Management to limit pollution and waste from flaring.

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Posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, Climate, General, Methane, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

Inflation Reduction Act gives truck electrification a dose of adrenaline

President Biden will make an appearance at the iconic Detroit Auto Show this week, where he’s sure to tout the historic jolt the Inflation Reduction Act will provide the electric car market.

But the incentives of the IRA will reach beyond the Teslas, Mustang Mach-Es and Ford F-150 Lightnings that will get a significant boost through tax credits and charging infrastructure funds to expand the adoption of passenger EVs across America.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

EPA must protect California’s life-saving clean truck rules

By Larissa Koehler and Alice Henderson

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is hearing from scientists, mothers, healthcare professionals, public health and environmental advocates – including EDF – and many others who submitted comments in support of California clean truck standards.

As EPA works toward finalizing federal heavy-duty emission standards proposed earlier this year, the agency has been accepting public comment on its notices considering Clean Air Act preemption waivers for California clean truck standards, including the Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus NOx (low-NOx) standards. Several other states have already adopted these standards in recent years to reduce health-harming pollution from new freight trucks and buses. The ACT requires an increasing percentage of new trucks and buses to be zero-emission through 2035, while the low-NOx standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxides from new diesel trucks.

Taken together, these protections will prevent almost 5,000 premature deaths, save California billions of dollars in health care costs and create thousands of new jobs by 2035. But the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association — a trade group of the nation’s largest engine manufacturers, including Volvo and Daimler — has opposed these safeguards at the state and federal level, and is now challenging in court California’s ability to implement the low-NOx emission standards.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

4 main takeaways from America’s top transit agencies on electrifying buses

Many U.S. transit agencies, from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, are working to convert their bus fleets from diesel to electric. The number of electric transit buses currently on order or operating in the U.S. grew 112% from 2018 to 2021, according to CALSTART. Electric buses are cleaner, quieter and increasingly more cost-effective than traditional diesel-powered alternatives.

While many makes and models of electric buses are now available to address transit agencies’ needs, charging is still a significant hurdle. Transit agencies are faced with the complexity of determining charging infrastructure needs while maintaining operations and reducing costs, which can be a maze of decisions and obstacles to overcome.

To uncover the emerging trends, barriers and best practices these agencies are implementing to meet their own electrification goals, EDF worked with Atlas Public Policy to interview 28 transit agencies in the process of electrifying their fleets, as well as utilities, engineering firms, charging manufacturers and thought leaders in transit charging. The results are highlighted in a new report out today entitled, Deploying Charging Infrastructure for Electric Transit Buses: Best practices and lessons learned from deployments to date.

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Posted in Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed