Energy Exchange

For a Clean, Safe Ride to School, Electric Buses Get Straight A’s. Propane? Needs Improvement

School bus

GreenPower electric school bus parked in front of the West Virginia State Capitol building; Charleston, WV

By Ali DySard and Melody Reis

School districts around the country are considering a switch to buses that use less fuel, cost less, and, most importantly, provide safe and healthy trips to and from school. Only one option wins on each of these critical criteria: electric. They eliminate the dirty tailpipe emissions of diesel and other fossil fuel models that harm vulnerable lungs, they save money on fuel and maintenance costs and they can even increase the resilience of the local electric grid.

This clear choice is why the majority of the EPA’s Clean School Bus rebate program applications were for —and nearly 100% of the first round of funding went to — electric buses.

But old technology habits die hard, and propane bus manufacturers have allied with propane lobbyists to push school districts to consider their internal combustion buses. And they’re using some of the fossil fuel industry’s old bag of tricks to take on their electric rivals.

Unfortunately, the truth is not on their side and propane does not come out on top.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Authors: / Comments are closed

The first step in a new industrial revolution: raising the bar for clean hubs


By Nichole Saunders

We’re at the threshold of a multi-billion dollar industrial decarbonization revolution that will usher in clean energy projects around the world. Unlike the industrial revolution of 100 years ago, imagine if this next one genuinely considered environmental and public good alongside economic objectives.

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Also posted in Climate, Energy Financing / Comments are closed

Multi-state “action plan” on zero-emission trucks, buses is robust, but key additions are needed

Last month truck manufacturers, environmentalists and others shared their thoughts on a multi-state draft action plan to spur zero emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks in 17 states, the Province of Quebec and Washington D.C.

The plan, spearheaded by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and developed by signatory states, was the culmination of months of educational webinars and stakeholder outreach and demonstrated the fruits of that labor. It was comprehensive and reflected the inclusion of a diverse array of perspectives and ideas.

The model action plan could be further strengthened to provide a roadmap for states that adequately addresses the climate and health imperative created by diesel trucks and buses. Read More »

Also posted in Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM, Utility Business Models / 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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Also posted in New Jersey / Comments are closed

Illinois lays out blueprint for next generation climate legislation

Immediately after the Future Energy Jobs Act was passed in 2016, EDF and our tremendous partners in the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition started work again. Building on that momentum and with many new and diverse partners, the Coalition held over 100 listening sessions with communities about their top priorities for Illinois. During those listening sessions, in every corner of the state, shared priorities emerged and became the pillars of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.

The core tenants of CEJA were built from the bottom-up, and after years of hard work, deep listening and authentic collaboration, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, SB2408, was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker yesterday.

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Also posted in CEJA, Illinois / Comments are closed

Current power crunch underscores Texas Legislature’s lackluster efforts to “fix the grid”

When Texas state senators and representatives return to their home districts this summer, they’ll be able to tell constituents they did something in response to this winter’s deadly energy crisis. But they better not brag. And they might face some difficult questions when constituents ask why the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas is facing another supply crisis during a very predictable warm June.

Because despite promises to make sure February’s grid failures are never repeated, the Legislature only passed modest grid-related bills this session. They missed a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass comprehensive electricity reforms that would have fortified the grid and protected Texans from increasingly frequent weather-related energy crises. And they spent an unforgivable amount of time and effort vilifying solar, wind and electric vehicles and considering punitive legislation that had nothing to do with February’s disaster.

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Also posted in Texas / Comments are closed