Monthly Archives: March 2019

New Mexico legislation marks new focus on improved oil and gas oversight under Gov. Lujan Grisham

By Jon Goldstein and Nichole Saunders

When New Mexico legislators adjourned last Saturday, they had a long list of accomplishments for the first session under Gov. Lujan Grisham’s executive leadership. Near the top of that list is a bill that, once signed, will mark the first major legislative reform for the state’s oil and gas industry in over a decade.

House Bill 546 has significant implications for how the state oversees its large and growing oil and gas industry. This includes restoring crucial powers to the state’s main oil and gas regulator and enabling it to protect the state’s air and water resources from oil and gas pollution, as well as clarifying how New Mexico manages the massive volume of oilfield wastewater, or “produced water,” generated by operators. These reforms, championed by Sen. Richard Martinez, Rep. Nathan Small and Rep. Matthew McQueen will begin to deliver oil and gas policy that New Mexicans can be proud of.

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Report reveals heavy burden of energy waste, methane emissions on Navajo communities

By Matt Miccioli, EDF Stanford Schneider Fellow

A recent study of oil and gas methane emissions on the Navajo Nation reveals companies operating on tribal lands pollute 65 percent more than the national average, wasting millions in tribal resources every year and underscoring the opportunity for tribal leaders to reduce emissions.

The analysis, conducted by Environmental Defense Fund and released in conjunction with Grand Canyon Trust, Dinè CARE and Native American Voters Alliance, quantifies the volume of natural gas burned off, vented or leaked from oil and gas production on Navajo lands. It found that companies are wasting about 5.2 percent of their natural gas, generating about 13,000 tons of methane pollution.

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A new energy future for Puerto Rico beyond recovery

By Daniel Whittle and Ronny Sandoval

Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico in 2017 was overwhelming. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives. Basic services, including power and water, were knocked out for months and the economy ground to a halt.

Power and other services have since been restored to nearly all parts of the island, but the long-term recovery continues. This recovery may not attract as much news as the disaster that led to it, but for Puerto Rico’s long-term prosperity, it is just as important and urgent as restoring basic services.

Puerto Rico’s grid was outdated and fragile before the hurricane, so simply rebuilding and restoring it to pre-Maria condition would be a mistake. Instead, the people of Puerto Rico have an opportunity to build a new energy system that can better protect residents from future super storms, improve the quality of life for everyone and support the island’s economy for decades to come. This will take local leadership, collective action and a new approach to how the energy system is designed, financed and managed.

Communities have been making remarkable progress towards rebuilding. Following their lead is key to making any solution to Puerto Rico’s energy crisis successful in the long term. Together, investors, businesses and nonprofit organizations can add to these efforts by sharing their experiences and new ideas to create a better energy future for Puerto Rico. Read More »

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The right way for California to divest from natural gas

As California’s drive to wean itself from fossil fuels continues, important new challenges are emerging in its wake. Part of a broader effort to shift the state’s electric grid entirely to clean energy by 2045, for example, includes the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s recent announcement to retire three gas-fired power plants, while making a series of local investments to manage and balance the electric load. And with the grid getting cleaner, efforts are now getting underway to electrify as many of the other residential, commercial and industrial activities that currently depend on gas.

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New clean energy legislation in Illinois has customer and community needs at its core

Jobs. Equity. Savings. Economic development. Social justice. These are a few of the terms being used to describe the ground-breaking Clean Energy Jobs Act, a new bill in Illinois which Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) played a key role in developing and supporting.

Introduced by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and policymakers around the state, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (affectionately called CEJA or “see-juh”) has racked up almost 60 legislative sponsors in the weeks since its introduction.

Here are four reasons Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act stands out as a nation-leading proposal.

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Industry momentum builds for nationwide methane regulation

Oil and gas companies in the United States are the latest to add their voices to the broad set of stakeholders supporting federal regulation of methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector. These companies have a major responsibility to reduce methane emissions, a key step in the energy transition. This week in Houston, at CERAWeek, Shell, ExxonMobil and BP took important steps to support nationwide direct methane regulation, with Shell urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to not deregulate methane emissions and to even tighten standards.

There is more opportunity than ever before to regulate and reduce emissions in ways that work for industry and the environment. As ExxonMobil wrote, federal methane regulation “helps build stakeholder confidence, and provides long-term certainty for industry planning and investment while achieving climate related goals.”

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Posted in Fourth Wave, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed