Energy Exchange

Climate leadership is Canada’s truest, best path to world stage

This piece was originally published in The Hill Times

Pundits are wringing their hands over Canada’s frustrated bid for a temporary spot on the United Nations Security Council. But perhaps Canada was auditioning for the wrong role. What if the undeniable but short-term prestige has kept critics from recognizing a greater, more important place for Canada on the global stage — at precisely the moment it’s most needed?

Climate change looms as an ever-larger threat not only to the world’s economies, but to civilization as a whole. As a major fossil fuel producer and innovative leader in environmental stewardship, Canada is uniquely poised to help usher in a new era of low-carbon energy, both through actions at home and by bringing other countries along through U.N. and other international auspices.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane / Comments are closed

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, 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, 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, Natural Gas, PermianMAP, Texas / 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, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Methane: Europe’s missing link for effective energy decarbonization

The EU Sector Integration Strategy, expected in June, has become the top energy policy issue this year, and it will define the role of gas in Europe’s current and future transitions.

In recent weeks, there have been increasing calls for Europe’s gas decarbonization to focus on hydrogen and renewable gases, while saying very little — if anything — about energy-related methane emissions. Yet according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reducing methane is a critical complement to reducing carbon dioxide emissions if we are to reach our greenhouse gas reduction goals and stabilize the climate.

The commission’s plan thus far seems to be taking a cross-sector approach in addressing methane emissions across energy, agriculture and waste. It is sensible, given that human-made methane emissions from oil and gas, agriculture and other sources are responsible for over a quarter of the warming our planet is experiencing now.

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Also posted in Climate, Europe, Methane / Comments are closed