Energy Exchange

Why Texas’ attempt to delay commonsense methane protections will only shoot itself – and the US oil and gas industry – in the foot.

By Elizabeth Lieberknecht

Texas’ primary oil and gas regulator, the Texas Railroad Commission, took the unfortunate — though not surprising — step last month of requesting legal action against EPA’s recently finalized commonsense methane rules. This is unfortunate because, once implemented, these rules will protect public health, limit climate change and energy waste. It is not surprising because the RRC (Texas’ oddly named oil and gas regulatory agency) has shown little interest in trying to rein in Texas’ massive problem with oil and gas methane pollution. Texas emits more oil and gas methane pollution than any other state. Despite repeated calls for more oversight from the state agency, the RRC continues to regularly approve permits to flare natural gas, a leading cause of methane pollution.  

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons, Texas / Authors: / Comments are closed

Northwestern analysis provides more information on the need for ACT in Illinois

This blog was co-authored by José Acosta-Córdova, Senior Transportation Policy Analyst at LVEJO

Transportation is a big issue in Illinois, accounting for almost one-third of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions — the sector responsible for the most GHG emissions in the state. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as delivery vans, transit buses and large tractor-trailers are a disproportionate contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, but also other emissions like nitrogen oxide and particulate matter that directly harm the health of Illinoisans. Despite making up less than 10% of on-road vehicles, these trucks and buses are responsible for 67% of NOx and 59% of PM.

Advocates in the state have long been calling for Gov. Pritzker to move forward on key policies to advance zero-emission trucks and buses.  Chief among them is the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation, which requires manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks and school buses.

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

Zero-emission trucks are taking center stage at MCE 2023. Here’s what you should know.

truck driver standing in the foreground with his tractor trailer rig in the background. The image is against a setting sun.

As hundreds of fleet professionals from across the U.S. gather in Austin, TX this week for the American Trucking Association’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition, some may be arriving with a feeling of uncertainty about the pace of transition to zero-emission trucks.

While fleet managers have more tools at their disposal than ever before, the ambition of their efforts has grown significantly, too. Thus, it can feel as challenging as ever to make progress on reducing pollution from trucks at a pace that meets the urgent health and climate imperative we all face.

Fleets know they need to drive toward a zero-emission future. Yet, there is no one-size-fits-all pace, and there are as many paths as there are fleets. But long-term, performance-based medium and heavy-duty emission standards can help.

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

New tool equips community voices to spur a just energy transition

Community Voices in Energy logo

Our new website, Community Voices in Energy — a collaboration with Chicago-based Blacks in Green — equips frontline communities to participate as experts in climate and energy proceedings and influence energy investments. By ensuring that community members are able to share their direct experience on the record in public utility commission hearings, the site helps utility regulators to make rulings that lead to a more equitable, healthy and affordable energy future.

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Also posted in Illinois / Authors: / Comments are closed

Interim Solutions needed while New York Public Service Commission moves forward on longer term truck charging infrastructure programs

Electric trucks in charging station

By Pamela MacDougall and Cole Jermyn

UPDATE: Since the publication of this blog post on April 27, 2023, the New York Public Service Commission has made meaningful progress within its new Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure proceeding. The PSC accepted comments on its initial questions from several dozen parties including EDF, and technical conferences are expected this fall. Despite this, the proceeding will likely continue into next year, leaving many early adopter fleets without sufficient access to charging infrastructure and potentially setting the state behind on its electrification goals. With deadlines from the Advanced Clean Trucks rule and emissions reductions goals from the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act rapidly approaching, now is the time to kickstart the deployment of truck and bus charging infrastructure in New York. The state must implement interim solutions while the PSC continues to move forward. Primarily, changes can be made to the medium- and heavy-duty make-ready pilot program by expanding its eligibility to be more accessible to different types of fleets, depot owners and repair shops. Additionally, the program’s budget can be expanded, as the Commission’s Staff has already proposed. The Commission must also work with its sister agencies including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Department of Transportation to support near-term deployments of charging infrastructure. Not only will these solutions help provide the charging infrastructure that fleets need now, but the PSC will have the learnings it needs to have a full-scale medium- and heavy-duty charging program in the future. Environmental Defense Fund commends the PSC for the progress made so far on the proceeding and is looking forward to working with the commission to ensure no time is wasted in deploying necessary charging infrastructure improvements.  

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles, New York / Authors: / Comments are closed

New bipartisan legislation would give U.S. orphan well management efforts a huge boost

Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) meets with oil industry and environmental group leaders at kick-off event for orphan well remediation program in Adams County, CO

By Adam Peltz and Meg Coleman

Across the country, a million or more orphaned oil and gas wells threaten the climate, public health, groundwater and surface waters and hamper local economic development. Help is on the way thanks to a major federal effort to invest $4.7 billion in closing orphan wells under the Revive Economic Growth and Reclaim Orphaned Wells Act as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but the scale of the problem is vast.

In order to get a handle on these orphaned wells, New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Luján , Democrat,  and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, Republican,  worked together to secure well closure funding in BIL. Now, they have reintroduced the Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act and a bipartisan group in the House led by Pennsylvania Rep. Summer Lee, Democrat,  and republican Oklahoma Rep. Stephanie Bice  have introduced a companion bill. This important, bipartisan legislation would invest more than $150 million over the next five years to help find an estimated 800,000 undocumented orphan wells, reuse those we can for beneficial purposes and ultimately close all of the rest more effectively and affordably. While partisan politics seem to divide the Capitol these days, it is exciting to see leaders on both sides of the aisle come together to address orphan wells.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane, Methane regulatons / Tagged | Authors: / Comments are closed