Energy Exchange

Mexico can rebuild a cleaner, stronger energy economy post COVID-19

This piece was first published in El Universal

Times of great turmoil sometimes bring the opportunity for great progress. As leaders around the world work to protect the sick and vulnerable from COVID-19, while also moving to restart their economies, they have a chance to rebuild better — creating a world that’s cleaner and healthier than before. This means investing in an economy that creates more jobs and less pollution, including less of the air pollution that causes diseases that put people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

It should be a world with fewer deaths from heart and lung disease triggered by air pollution, a world with a safer and more stable climate for our children and grandchildren. This is the kind of world we can create if we heed the lessons of this terrible pandemic.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate, Electric Vehicles, Methane regulatons, Mexico, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

The energy job market is in trouble. Here’s how we fix it.

The coronavirus is inflicting a heavy toll on America: Over 100,000 dead, almost two million infected, and more than 40 million unemployed. Beating the virus is the top priority. But we also need to put people back to work as fast as safety allows. How we go about that now will determine our nation’s economic future for decades.

To achieve lasting prosperity, we need to rebuild better by investing in jobs that restart the economy, improve the environment and move us to a cleaner future.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate, Energy Efficiency, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy / Comments are closed

To fix flaring, Railroad Commission must tackle the incentive problem

Previously published in Shale Magazine

By Colin Leyden and Scott Anderson

A remarkable thing happened at the Texas Railroad Commission these past few weeks. Throughout the contentious debate over proration, a growing chorus of voices on both sides was calling on the commissioners to address flaring — an incredibly wasteful, environmentally damaging practice that has been giving producers a black eye for years.

During the epic 10-hour proration hearing on April 14, it wasn’t just environmental and health groups banging the drum on flaring. Large and small producers (both for and against proration), mineral rights groups and investors all called for action on flaring. So while proration may be off the agenda for now, the need and desire to address flaring lives on.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, PermianMAP, Texas / Comments are closed

A zero flaring policy is long overdue, and investors can help make it reality

As investors take a hard look at the U.S. energy sector during this time of volatility, natural gas flaring is one of the most important and immediate risks to manage.

The eyesore of the oilfield, flaring natural gas destroys shareholder value and creates environmental, social and governance risk — exactly the kind of problem that an increasing number of asset managers, investment banks, and even private equity firms have promised to address.

Routine flaring is damaging the environment in several ways. In addition to the CO2 emissions from combusted gas, flares can release significant amounts of methane into the atmosphere. EDF’s recent helicopter survey found that more than one in every 10 flares at oil and gas sites across the Permian Basin was either unlit — venting uncombusted methane straight to the atmosphere — or only partially burning the gas they were releasing. In fact, the survey suggests that flaring could be among the region’s largest sources of fugitive methane and a troublesome contributor to local air pollution.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Natural Gas, New Mexico, PermianMAP, Texas / Comments are closed

A bright future for continuous methane detection

Over the last decade, a trove of scientific studies has established that not only are methane emissions from oil and gas operations a major contributor to climate change, but also that they are severely underestimated and underreported.

EDF has been at the forefront of research to detect and quantify the magnitude of oil and gas methane emissions. And we’ve also helped develop solutions that make large-scale emission reductions easier, faster and cheaper. A new initiative led by The University of Texas at Austin called Project ASTRA is a promising, multi-year experiment with the potential to build on and complement other efforts aimed at scaling global reductions of oil and gas methane emissions.

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Also posted in PermianMAP / Comments are closed

Canada’s Trudeau exemplifies climate leadership in the face of COVID-19 crisis

As countries everywhere struggle to balance crucial long term priorities like climate change with the urgent health and economic issues faced by millions suffering the effects of a viral pandemic, the government of Canada has distinguished itself with a new policy designed to address both sets of challenges without shortchanging either.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Canada’s Energy Stimulus Plan offers a standout example of how world leaders can carefully meet society’s immediate needs while simultaneously reducing the greenhouse gas pollution that is destabilizing our climate. Trudeau’s response demonstrates that it is possible to protect and preserve jobs — even in the oil and gas sector — while still cutting emissions.

The plan, announced in April, includes over CA$2 billion to help offset the crisis in the energy sector, while keeping a sharp focus on the economy and the environment. It includes CA$1.7 billion to clean up old, so-called orphan wells across Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, which the government estimates will preserve more than 5,000 jobs in Alberta alone.

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Also posted in Canada, Climate, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed