Energy Exchange

EPA must protect California’s life-saving clean truck rules

By Larissa Koehler and Alice Henderson

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is hearing from scientists, mothers, healthcare professionals, public health and environmental advocates – including EDF – and many others who submitted comments in support of California clean truck standards.

As EPA works toward finalizing federal heavy-duty emission standards proposed earlier this year, the agency has been accepting public comment on its notices considering Clean Air Act preemption waivers for California clean truck standards, including the Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus NOx (low-NOx) standards. Several other states have already adopted these standards in recent years to reduce health-harming pollution from new freight trucks and buses. The ACT requires an increasing percentage of new trucks and buses to be zero-emission through 2035, while the low-NOx standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxides from new diesel trucks.

Taken together, these protections will prevent almost 5,000 premature deaths, save California billions of dollars in health care costs and create thousands of new jobs by 2035. But the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association — a trade group of the nation’s largest engine manufacturers, including Volvo and Daimler — has opposed these safeguards at the state and federal level, and is now challenging in court California’s ability to implement the low-NOx emission standards.

Read More »

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

Now is the time for California to go bold on electric trucks and buses

There is no single fix to the climate, air quality, political and economic challenges facing California, but the state’s early action to electrify its fleet of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is one example of smart policy that can move us in a positive direction. As California’s legislative session concludes in August, lawmakers and the California Air Resources Board should take the next steps to implement the electric transportation transition with tools that are right at their fingertips.

Nationally, the transportation sector is the largest source of climate emissions and a primary contributor to local air pollution and the negative health and economic impacts that go along with it. Medium- and heavy- duty vehicles – the trucks and buses that move our goods and people – make up a small portion of total wheels on the road, but they produce an outsized portion of all emissions. In California, MHD vehicles make up just 6% of vehicles on the road, but produce 72% of the state’s health-harming nitrogen oxide emissions and 21% of all transportation climate emissions. Transitioning these vehicles to zero-emission models would make a big difference for air quality and the manufacturing economy, a sector where California is becoming a leader.

Read More »

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

As nations sign on to end routine flaring, Biden admin must act

The last two months have seen encouraging momentum in the effort to tackle emissions of methane — a greenhouse gas that drives over a quarter of current warming — and the practice of flaring, which is a major source of energy waste and methane pollution.

Starting with last month’s Major Economies Forum, one of the last major climate gatherings before COP 27 in Egypt, signatories to the Global Methane Pledge introduced a new goal to end routine flaring as soon as possible, and by 2030 at the latest.

Then, just this week, the U.S. and Mexico announced a commitment to cooperate and help Mexico develop a plan to eliminate routine flaring in alignment with the Global Methane Pledge.

Fast action to end routine flaring is critical for reducing emissions of methane, protecting human health and the climate, and stopping needless waste of energy resources as the world faces an energy crisis spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, the U.S. has work to do to ensure domestic policies can live up to our own global commitments. Fortunately, both the Bureau of Land Management and the Environmental Protection Agency have the authority and obligation to implement strong rules that end routine flaring.

Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, Colorado, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico, PermianMAP / Language: / Comments are closed

TCEQ announces critical new funding commitment for zero-emission trucks

Critical funding for more zero-emission trucks in Texas is on the way. For the first time ever, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality grant program that provides incentives to replace heavy-duty diesel vehicles will guarantee that at least half of the funding awarded will go to projects that include zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The recently announced change will make this money available in the next round of grant funding for the Texas Clean Fleet Program, which will be open for applications soon.

Nitrogen oxide from diesel trucks contributes to climate change while increasing air pollution and harming the health of Texans. Our state is currently experiencing historic heat, which can be directly attributed to climate change. By replacing dirty diesel vehicles with clean alternatives, Texas is taking direct aim at climate and air pollution.

Read More »

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

New York PSC must ensure charging infrastructure in place for medium and heavy-duty fleet electrification

One thing is clear: The New York Public Service Commission does not shy away from a challenge. Since the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was adopted in 2019, setting economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets and directing the PSC to eliminate emissions from electric generation, the commission has been hard at work updating its programs where its role under the new law is clear, and making sense of the rest.

New York’s decarbonization path is nascent, particularly when it comes to eliminating pollution from activities that do not rely directly on utility systems today, but that will rely on those systems to eliminate their emissions in the future. Trucks and buses are a perfect example. These vehicles are a small slice of the transportation pie, yet they are responsible for an outsized share of the air pollution from transportation, including about half of the transportation-related nitrogen oxide and particulate matter contaminants. These pollutants cause serious health problems, like asthma — especially in communities that experience high truck traffic.

Read More »

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

New Jersey BPU must help natural gas utilities comply with state’s Global Warming Response Act

By Ted Kelly

The need to replace South Jersey’s leaking and leak-prone pipelines while planning to move New Jersey’s energy system away from fossil fuels became major news today when the Board of Public Utilities approved a settlement for the utility to address leaks in the gas system. South Jersey Gas is now one of the first utilities in the U.S. to commit to developing a plan to transition away from polluting energy sources and protect communities at high risk of methane pollution.

South Jersey Gas, state consumer advocates and regulators agreed on a way for the utility to use a data-informed approach to detect and repair or replace the biggest leaks and most at-risk pipelines in its jurisdiction. At the same time, South Jersey Gas will submit a plan, called the Climate Oriented Business Plan, which will outline how its business will evolve to meet federal and state decarbonization requirements in the long-term. This includes the selection of investments that comply with New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act, which requires the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80% by 2050 with an interim goal of 50% by 2030.

Read More »

Also posted in Natural Gas, New Jersey / Language: / Comments are closed