Energy Exchange

The New York Utility Commission institutes a climate planning framework

The New York Public Service Commission is taking decisive action to orient the state’s utilities towards a clean energy future, consistent with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In two new orders, the commission established a collaborative long-term planning process for gas utilities, put in place a framework for greenhouse gas emissions reporting for all New York utilities and directed a statewide study to assess the impacts of transitioning away from the use of natural gas.

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The time has come for NYPSC to focus on charging infrastructure for trucks and buses

New York is at a crossroads. Our flagship climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, requires significant emissions reductions statewide. This puts every sector of our economy on the hook to deliver and position New York on a path to climate safety. To achieve the CLCPA’s goals, government agencies, communities and the private sector must work together to establish systems and solutions that reduce climate pollution, improve air quality and equity, and spark economic growth throughout the state.

The CLCPA’s vision cannot be achieved without tackling emissions from the transportation sector, the state’s second largest source of climate pollution and a significant contributor to local air pollution. New York policymakers have recognized this reality, but a transition to new types of vehicles can only be as successful as the infrastructure that powers them. And there, the New York Public Service Commission holds the key to success. That is why EDF, together with parties, has just filed a petition requesting that the Commission take steps to address the charging infrastructure needs of electric trucks and buses in the state.

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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.

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New York should accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks

On the heels of COP26, Governor Hochul has made it clear that New Yorkers must work together to tackle climate change in the state. And New York is taking steps to prioritize climate and clean air. Back in September, the Department of Environmental Conservation introduced the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which requires manufacturers to produce and sell a percentage of new electric trucks annually through 2035.  Since the process began, there has been a 60-day public comment period, during which Environmental Defense Fund provided testimony at a public hearing and submitted joint comments with key stakeholders.

The ACT is a critical first step toward eliminating tailpipe emissions from new trucks and making the air cleaner and more breathable in neighborhoods across the state. But it is not — nor should it be — the sole means to mobilize the market for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and reduce pollution.  A variety of complementary policies must be put in place to allow for a cost-effective, equitable and sustainable transition to clean vehicles.

New York needs zero-emission trucks

Transportation is a leading source of air pollution in New York, accounting for 36% of all greenhouse gas emissions across the state. And while trucks only make up 5% of the state’s 10.6 million registered vehicles, the emissions produced from this sector are disproportionate to the population. Read More »

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Climate planning is key for New York’s gas infrastructure

Next month, the New York Public Service Commission will be deciding whether a rate case settlement proposal between National Grid’s upstate gas and electric utility (Niagara Mohawk) and other groups is in the public interest, and whether the proposal is consistent with New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This is the first major utility rate case to be conducted fully under the CLCPA as effective law, and makes clear the need for commission action to implement standards to achieve state climate goals.

But there is a cloud hanging over this proposal: the utility rate case paradigm guiding this proceeding is outdated and inconsistent with New York’s climate goals.

There is no question that to achieve the CLCPA targets — to reduce New York greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050, below 1990 levels — natural gas use and combustion must decrease significantly. But the commission has not set clear standards to require that gas utilities plan for this transformational future, or to ensure utility rate applications and outcomes are consistent with the law. Decisive action is needed to address this disconnect.

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IKEA tests new model for accelerating electric delivery

By Harold Rickenbacker

Consumer preference for at-home delivery is on the rise, and with it, the need for more trucks on the road. Transportation is now the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, and trucks — though making up only less than 5% of vehicles on the road — are responsible for over half of smog pollution. And yet, corporate progress on zero-emission shipping remains slow.

Electric Vehicle Sponsorship Models are a new, innovative opportunity that companies can use today to hit their climate goals. Through this mechanism, companies can ensure their items ship on EVs, even when they don’t own or manage their own delivery vehicles.

This past spring, IKEA piloted a first-ever sponsorship model to meet its goal of 100% zero emission home deliveries by 2025. Today, a fleet of 25 electric vehicles carrying IKEA products are servicing all five boroughs of the New York City market.

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