Energy Exchange

Federal pipeline agency has essential opportunity to reduce methane emissions

By Erin Murphy and Elgie Holstein

The Biden administration recently directed gas pipeline companies to explain how they will minimize emissions of methane, which is both a potent greenhouse pollutant and the primary component of natural gas. This is the first step in implementing the PIPES Act of 2020, which Congress passed last year detailing new oversight requirements with an enhanced focus on environmental protection as well as safety.

Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide during the first 20 years after release, which makes pipeline emissions a crucial element in a national climate strategy.

Natural gas pipelines emit methane through unintended leakage and deliberate operational releases. Researchers estimate that distribution pipelines alone have about 630,000 leaks emitting 690 thousand tons of methane annually — five times higher than estimated in the U.S. EPA greenhouse gas inventory.

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Fleets have much to gain from NACFE’s Run on Less – Electric program

From regional haulers to food and beverage delivery, operators of medium- and heavy-duty fleets understand that there is an urgent need to reduce the transportation sector’s contribution to climate change and poor air quality, and the impact their vehicles have. That’s why fleets in cities from New York to Los Angeles and Quebec to Vancouver have signed up for the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Rocky Mountain Institute’s Run on Less-Electric program to help amplify understanding of electric trucks and collect data to scale their adoption.

Run on Less – Electric is working with original equipment manufacturers to signal their readiness to pursue zero-emission vehicles, their desire to do their part to drive change and to make it work for their business model. The program will provide the opportunity for fleets to see zero-emission vehicles achieving product delivery along real-word routes, and the data collected will prove that ZEVs are a viable option for the future of logistics.

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Methane controls mean cleaner air on the Navajo Nation

By Megan Kelly and Jon Goldstein

Policy action at both the tribal and federal levels this spring is creating promising momentum for cutting down on methane pollution on the Navajo Nation and across the Colorado Plateau, a step in the right direction for tackling climate change. Reducing methane waste would also improve public health and bring much-needed revenue to tribal and state governments.

In late April 2021, the Senate voted to restore an Obama-era U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The Trump administration had previously rolled back this rule and eliminated federal requirements that oil and gas companies detect and fix methane leaks from their operations.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly from Arizona; Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján from New Mexico; and Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper from Colorado, all voted in favor of moving toward reinstating those important requirements.

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New Jersey’s road to clean transportation revs up with advanced clean trucks rule

Requiring manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks and buses is a turn New Jersey cannot afford to miss. The discussions to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks rule begin this week, and the Department of Environmental Protection should seize the opportunity to transition trucks and buses from diesel to zero-emission motors. This is one of the most powerful ways for New Jersey to build on its momentum as a climate leader and reduce pollution, address equity issues, improve public health and spark economic growth across the state.

Transportation is the most polluting sector in New Jersey. It emits nearly half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest contributor of local air pollution, which causes a host of health threats. Trucks and buses are responsible for a disproportionate share of this pollution because they run on diesel fuel. Delivering on Gov. Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, which prioritizes zero-emission transportation, the ACT can help solve these problems and get New Jersey closer to 100% zero-emission truck and bus sales by 2040 and a full fleet turnover by 2050.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles, New Jersey / Language: / Comments are closed

New bill will make it easier, cheaper to buy electric trucks and buses

By Michael Colvin and Lauren Navarro

A new bill making its way through the California Legislature has the potential to help accelerate the much-needed transition to electric vehicles.

The law, Senate Bill 372, would create state programs that help owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses pay for the costs of replacing their diesel-fueled fleets with cleaner, zero-emissions alternatives.

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks create massive amounts of air pollution. This pollution deteriorates air quality and can exacerbate serious health problems for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions. The pollution is particularly bad along shipping routes and near warehouses, many of which are located in and around low-income communities. So replacing these vehicles with cleaner, zero-polluting versions will immediately improve outcomes for these vulnerable populations.

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Also posted in California, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

DOE’s SuperTruck 3 can help us reach a zero-emission future – if we have the right clean truck standards too

Cleaning up pollution from the U.S. trucking industry is an urgent need for the country. For the past decade, the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck Program has helped showcase solutions for a cleaner future. Now Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has announced a new generation of the DOE SuperTruck program – SuperTruck 3 – that will focus on higher efficiency and zero-emission solutions.

Through the SuperTruck 3 program, DOE will provide $162 million in funding to “pioneer electrified medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight system concepts that achieve even higher efficiency and lower emissions.” The funding focuses on a range of approaches, including all-electric systems, plug-in hybrid systems using renewable biofuels and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

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