Energy Exchange

Annular pressure monitoring and testing makes for safer wells

There are nearly a million active oil and gas wells in the United States, and if not correctly designed and maintained, they can leak harmful substances that will irreversibly pollute our land, air and water.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at data from over 100,000 wells and estimates that at least 14% experienced some loss of integrity, which could indicate a leak.

The study’s authors were able to determine the functionality and health of these wells based on data collected from annular pressure tests. In fact, the study analyzed almost 500,000 pressure tests conducted across three different basins — one of the largest studies of well integrity conducted to date.

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Posted in California, Colorado, Methane, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania / Comments are closed

Gearing up for a zero-emission world

President Biden’s sweeping infrastructure package includes $174 billion for electric vehicles, an investment that will speed the transition away from polluting gas and diesel vehicles and toward cleaner forms of road transportation. The upfront cost of infrastructure is a key barrier to rapid deployment of zero-emission vehicles and the health and climate benefits that an electrified vehicle future will provide.

The proposal includes a wide array of vehicle electrification issues — from research and development to manufacturing to increased capability to purchase clean vehicles. But when it comes to maximizing the environmental, health and equity potential of electric transportation, it leaves some critical considerations on the table. Most notably, the potential impact of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, or trucks and buses.

First and foremost, it is crucial that the country’s investment in zero-emission vehicles includes more than passenger cars and is ambitious in cleaning up all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. President Biden’s call to modernize transit and expand clean school buses is well placed, but the call should extend beyond buses — and as soon as possible. This will require investment in all aspects of the supply chain as well as increased funding and programs to deploy increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles and charging stations throughout the nation —as well as ensuring that communities of color have the tools needed to benefit from the increased deployment of these vehicles.

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Posted in California, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

From carbon accounting to carbon accountability: It’s time for banks to step up

The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials recently welcomed its 100th member, a milestone that reflects banks’ growing focus on measuring financed emissions. But while robust carbon accounting is necessary for the long term, it is no substitute for action now. To pick up the pace of Paris alignment, banks must begin targeting financed emissions in carbon-intensive sectors immediately.

Improving data and disclosure is a valid long game, with mandatory climate risk disclosure and corporate leadership playing important roles. But financial institutions already have many of the tools and much of the data points needed to ramp up action in carbon-intensive sectors.

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Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

4 things every utility, fleet and energy regulator should know about heavy-duty truck charging

The transition to electric heavy-duty trucks is upon us, sparked by a steady decline in battery costs, continuous improvements in electric truck and charging technology, and growing recognition of the climate and local air quality impact of diesel trucks. But even as household names like FedEx, PepsiCo and Amazon have made public pledges to electrify their truck fleets, concerns that charging infrastructure will be able to meet fleets’ needs cost effectively threaten to slow the market-wide transition.

A study commissioned by EDF and conducted by Gladstein, Neandross and Associates addresses these charging questions and provides a pathway to ensuring heavy duty trucks can electrify.

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Posted in California, Electric Vehicles, Grid Modernization / Comments are closed

What does it really mean for a gas utility to go net-zero?

SoCalGas – the nation’s largest gas utility recently pledged to go net-zero on their greenhouse gas emissions. At face value, this is a great move, but what does this really mean for a gas-only company that has had some major climate missteps in the past? And what are the implications for current and future SoCalGas customers?

Today, customers use natural gas for a variety of purposes — to warm our homes, to take hot showers, to cook hot meals. But as part of the transition to a cleaner energy economy, more and more customers are shifting to electric appliances to perform those same functions. That shift means that they will be leaving the gas system to a decarbonized electric grid.

That’s great news for the climate, but it’s less great news if you’re a gas-only company or if you’re one of the few gas customers left on the system, especially if you are a large industrial customer and there is not an electric alternative available for your business process.

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Posted in California, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas, New Jersey, New York / Comments are closed

Congress should restore critical methane pollution standards

By Rosalie Winn and Raisa Orleans

EDF Legal Fellow Edwin LaMair contributed to this post.

Lawmakers last week introduced joint resolutions under the Congressional Review Act to restore widely-supported methane pollution protections and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward swiftly with ambitious next-generation standards for new and existing oil and gas facilities. The move has received broad support from environmental groups and at least one industry trade group.

The resolutions have widespread support among both House and Senate leadership and will be fast-tracked in the coming weeks.

EPA first adopted the standards in 2016 to reduce the oil and gas industry’s pollution of methane — a potent greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas — along with other smog-forming and hazardous local air pollution.

Methane is responsible for a quarter of the warming that we are experiencing today, and the oil and gas industry is the largest industrial source of methane pollution in the U.S. Local health-harming pollution from the industry impacts more than 9 million Americans who live on the frontlines of oil and gas development. Read More »

Posted in General, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed