Energy Exchange

Key things we learned from studying methane in the nation’s largest oilfield 

By Ben Hmiel and Jon Goldstein

After three years of actively collecting methane emissions data in the Permian Basin, researchers have gained new insights that will make it easier to reduce emissions of the incredibly potent greenhouse gas methane. These insights are helping inform state and federal regulatory approaches at a critical time. 

Download the final report.  Read More »

Also posted in Flaring, General, Methane, Methane regulatons, New Mexico, PermianMAP / Language: / Comments are closed

First “orphan” well plugged as federal program gains momentum, more to be done

 

In the fall of 2021, after much effort by EDF and other stakeholders, Congress included $4.7 billion in funding as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to close as many “orphan” wells as possible, with a focus on leaky wells near communities.

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Also posted in Air Quality / 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.

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

States should not weaken liability laws for CCS projects

Early this January, a geyser in West Texas started spewing tens of thousands of barrels of salty water a hundred feet into the air and coating the nearby land with salt deposits. It took about 10 days to discover the culprit was an old, dry oil well plugged in 1957 by Gulf Oil. By the next day, the Texas Railroad Commission had turned over the blowout and remediation to Chevron (who acquired Gulf Oil in the 1980s), who assumed full responsibility immediately and without question.

This is a normal cost of doing business in the oilfield in Texas and elsewhere — you break it, you pay for it.

Traditional regulatory and legal principles around liability are designed to hold operators accountable when they or those they are responsible for fail to live up to their responsibilities. Such rules encourage operators to do as good and thorough a job as technically feasible.

However, some states are weakening these rules for operators of carbon sequestration and storage projects. If this quiet trend continues, the integrity of these projects, their climate benefits and their public acceptance could be significantly threatened.

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Also posted in Carbon capture, Wyoming / Language: / Comments are closed

Dallas workshop showcases Texas-sized excitement for ZEV trucks

Last week, EDF and the North Central Texas Council of Governments hosted a daylong workshop on the state of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles in Texas. Over 100 fleet owners, managers, industry experts and government officials came together to discuss the latest technology for hydrogen and electric trucks, the state of the Texas grid and go along for a ride-and-drive on some of the latest truck models on the road.

The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S., and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for more than half of the smog-forming pollution from the sector. Freight trucks and buses also consume more than 55 billion gallons of fuel annually at a significant cost for truckers and fleets.

EDF is committed to helping fleets of all sizes transition to cleaner ZEV truck models and in the process cut dangerous air pollution and protect the health of communities. That’s where this workshop comes in.

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

New Rystad cost analysis makes case for EPA to end routine flaring in final methane rule

By Jon Goldstein and Grace Weatherall

Reducing the amount of methane emitted from oil and gas infrastructure is among the cheapest and simplest solutions we have to reduce global warming quickly while protecting public health. The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of developing rules to curb these emissions from oil and gas producers across the country.

A new analysis commissioned by EDF and conducted by Rystad Energy makes it clear that eliminating routine flaring — a major source of rogue emissions — should be part of EPA’s methane rulemaking.

Though there are valid safety reasons for some minimal flaring, most of it occurs via routine flaring — when oil producers simply don’t have a place to put the natural gas that emerges from the ground during oil production and simply burn it off. More than $1 billion of natural gas is wasted at flares every year, driving unnecessary and harmful climate and local air pollution — including methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas — when natural gas is not fully burned.

Rystad’s report includes two key findings that should inform EPA’s rulemaking.

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