Monthly Archives: April 2022

For Colorado’s clean truck ambition, it’s time for action, not delay

In March 2022, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis unveiled an ambitious and forward-thinking zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty truck strategy his administration said could reduce climate emissions from this sector at least 45% by 2050.

Gov. Polis is right: Colorado’s Clean Truck Strategy would build upon the state’s “national-leading climate and infrastructure goals.” But key pieces necessary to achieve that ambition have already stalled. Three state agencies (Colorado Energy Office, Department of Transportation, Air Pollution Control Division) want to push adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus (low NOx) rule — key policy drivers for this transition — to next year.

In response, EDF and a host of other environmental groups, environmental justice advocates and local governments filed a petition with the state’s Air Quality Control Commission to move forward with the ACT and low NOx rulemaking and adopt these regulations this year, rather than delay to 2023, and AQCC agreed to hear the petition on April 21.

In short, the AQCC should work with the Polis administration to move forward with adopting the ACT and low NOx rulemaking by the end of the year.

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Posted in Colorado, Electric Vehicles, General / Comments are closed

An all-inclusive way to look at energy transition in New Jersey

By Elizabeth B. Stein and Cole Jermyn

Update: On August 17th, the BPU voted to accept the final version of the Ratepayer Impact Study. The final version has the same limitations EDF and others identified in comments on the proposed study, including not accounting for the environmental and public health benefits of the energy transition, and failing to fully account for modernized utility practices that can minimize costs such as innovative price signals and grid modernization. But even with these limitations, the final study shows that electrification is the pathway to both lower costs and less greenhouse gas pollution.

 By 2030, New Jersey ratepayers who adopt electric vehicles, electrify their buildings and improve their energy efficiency will see lower energy costs than both their fossil fuel-reliant neighbor and the average customer today. This is true for small and large commercial customers, residential customers and low-income residential customers. These results should be a wakeup call to ensure all customers can afford to deploy these technologies in order to meet the state’s environmental and energy affordability goals.

New Jersey, like many other states, has been hard at work developing a strategy to drastically reduce its own climate impact. The state’s residents are already experiencing more than their share of climate change. With 130 miles of coastline, including population centers near much-loved beaches, more frequent extreme weather events are an existential threat to the state.

The state’s Energy Master Plan identifies and coordinates efforts, in various parts of the economy, to achieve a sustainable pathway to substantial decarbonization by 2050. But a new study, proposed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, that seeks to estimate the financial impact of these efforts to eliminate fossil fuels on gas and electric utility customers, is infected with methodological flaws and faulty assumptions that would put it out of step with the state’s energy and climate policy.

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Posted in Clean Energy, New Jersey / Comments are closed

The twin crises of energy supply and climate have the same solution

Today’s energy system has become a liability we can no longer afford. As dependence on oil and gas restrains the response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week issued yet another urgent warning that society is running out of time to avoid dangerous climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions.

Politicians and pundits say we must choose which problem to solve — protect the economy or protect the planet. But the twin crises of energy and climate have the same solution: the fastest possible transformation of our global energy system.

To those who want to prioritize the energy crisis, they must contend with the reality that there are no big spigots likely to be opened. Pre-Covid, oil and gas production were near record highs. Recent company announcements offer only marginal bumps in production, not enough to replace Russian oil or change prices at the pump.

And despite their rhetoric, neither producers nor their financiers show any interest in making the massive investments necessary to change these fundamentals.

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Posted in Methane, Renewable Energy / Comments are closed

Climate scientists agree: methane cuts are essential to limit global warming

By Ilissa Ocko and Tianyi Sun

A new report out this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is once again shedding more light on the climate crisis. According to the latest research, we’re on a dangerous trajectory that will result in significantly more warming than what policymakers aimed for.

As part of the Paris Climate Agreement — countries across the globe committed to try and limit future temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This new report not only predicts that we are not on track to meet that goal, it also suggests that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C is highly unlikely based on our current emissions and policies.

A previous IPCC assessment released earlier this year brought into focus the unfortunate reality that we are already experiencing increasingly destructive extreme weather events, rising seas, melting sea ice, habitat loss and other severe impacts of a changing climate at a much faster rate than communities can adapt. The fact that we are not acting fast enough to avert much worse impacts is disappointing news.

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Posted in Methane / Comments are closed