Energy Exchange

Rogue methane leaks from idle wells carry four big takeaways for policymakers

An ongoing methane leak involving several long-term idle wells in Southern California is raising safety concerns for nearby residents and highlights an important climate issue. Southern California has some of the worst air quality in the country, and leaks like these compound the negative impacts on some of the country’s most vulnerable populations. Both in California and across the country, many hundreds of thousands of end-of-life oil and gas wells are idle. That means that they are just sitting around awaiting proper site closure, which involves plugging the wells with cement to prevent gases or liquids from escaping and threatening the environment and public health.

Several such wells were recently found to be leaking methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that often escapes from oil and gas facilities alongside other toxic pollutants — in the Morningstar section of Bakersfield, CA. Local residents are concerned about the possibility of subsurface methane migration to homes and other structures in the vicinity.

While CalGEM and other agencies work to investigate and remediate the situation, four takeaways are already emerging:

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas / Language: / Comments are closed

California policymakers want feedback on how to make it easier to finance electric trucks, buses

Update: The California Air Resources Board is hosting a public work group meeting on May 4 at 1:00pm PST to discuss the new Proposed Zero Emission Loan Pilot within the Truck Loan Assistance Program. Stakeholder input is needed to determine how loans should work under SB372. There will be future meetings on other elements of SB372 to come. Please click here for more information.

Last year the California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 372, an important new bill that will help finance the next generation of zero-emission trucks. The law directs the California Air Resources Board and the California Pollution Control Financing Authority in the State Treasurer’s Office to offer financial and non-financial tools to help owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses pay for the costs of replacing their diesel-fueled fleets with cleaner, ZEV alternatives.

This bill is meant to bring key stakeholders to the table — environmental justice groups, truck manufacturers, fleets, financiers, nonprofit organizations and others — to find the solutions that will work for fleets to transition to zero-emission MHD vehicles.

Based on conversations EDF had with fleets, financiers and others, about what they need to invest in ZEV trucks, we discovered that it is critical to bring stakeholders to the table in order to find out what works, recognizing that multiple options are needed, because when it comes to fleets, one size does not fit all.

Read More »

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

Smart charging should be integral part of a national EV charging network

Electric trucks are coming, and they’re coming fast. Just before 2021 drew to a close, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts joined California, Oregon and Washington to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks with the adoption of the Advanced Clean Truck program. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, securing up to $67 billion in direct investment in zero-emission trucks and buses, as well as several critical tax credits to support the purchase and production of zero-emission trucks. And more than 150 truck fleets are either operating zero-emission trucks or have trucks on order.

Read More »

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

New electricity rate will make truck and bus charging cheaper, cleaner in California

State regulators just approved a first-of-its-kind charging rate for electric trucks and buses in northern California that will make it more affordable for fleet operators to make the switch from diesel to electric.

This new “dynamic” rate changes on an hourly basis, offering more opportunities for fleet operators to charge their vehicles when electricity is cheap (for example, when the grid is underutilized or when clean electricity is plentiful). In 2019, state regulators authorized Pacific Gas and Electric Company to offer a commercial electric vehicle time of use rate; regulators also directed the utility to request a more dynamic rate option, which is what was just approved. PG&E offering a menu of options tracks with EDF’s recent recommendation that multiple options — to accommodate many different operational use cases — are needed to make commercial vehicle electrification as affordable and clean as possible.

Read More »

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

New analysis shows California is home to the most zero-emission truck, bus companies in the nation

From vehicle assembly to battery manufacturing, research and training, the zero-emission truck and bus supply chain is supporting thousands of jobs and billions of investments — in California and across the country — according to a new report by EDF released today. That’s good news, because the transition away from fossil fuels in the medium- and heavy-duty, zero-emission vehicle sector will require significant new investments in technology, infrastructure and logistics.

In California, much like the national picture, the MHD ZEV industry is far-reaching. Existing businesses in the transportation industry are adapting their offerings to provide MHD ZEV products, and there are a significant number of new market entrants.

California leads the nation with at least 128 companies in 181 locations involved in the MHD ZEV supply chain; 86 of these companies are headquartered in the state, with over 44,000 total employees. In addition, there has been over $3.8 billion of announced corporate investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, research and training over the last seven years.

Read More »

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

New mapping tool could help communities, policymakers prioritize clean transportation solutions

My children’s daycare, which is on a commercial strip between supermarkets and restaurants, often has three refrigerated trucks idling outside the front door. These diesel trucks can emit harmful pollution, even when they aren’t moving. The impact of transportation pollution on vulnerable populations is often striking. In downtown Oakland, where more than 70% of the population are people of color, one in two new cases of childhood asthma are attributed to transportation pollution.

Companies are being questioned about the impacts that truck-attracting facilities like warehouses are having on local communities. The pressure will only increase as e-commerce and distribution facilities expand right by population centers.

Read More »

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