Energy Exchange

In wake of Supreme Court ruling, we must go full steam ahead to reduce methane pollution

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent climate change ruling has unfortunately restricted the tools available to EPA in its effort to address climate pollution from power plants. However, it’s also important to recognize that the ruling in no way changed EPA’s longstanding authority and duty to address climate pollution under the Clean Air Act to address climate pollution itself — including from new cars and freight trucks, industrial sources, new and existing power plants, and oil and gas development.  And with respect to oil and gas pollution, this decision in no way impedes the agency’s ongoing and important efforts to reduce oil and gas methane pollution.

It remains critical that the EPA exercise its clear authority and obligation to move forward with protective climate standards, including its proposed rules to curb methane pollution from the oil and gas sector, which emits roughly 16 million tons of methane annually. Globally, methane from human sources is responsible for over a quarter of the warming we are experiencing today.

EPA’s authority to tackle methane pollution was reaffirmed by bipartisan majorities in Congress just last year, and the agency has commonsense, cost-effective tools at hand to address the health harms posed by oil and gas methane pollution, which in the U.S. alone has the near-term climate impact every year of 294 million passenger vehicles. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / 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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Posted in Electric Vehicles, Texas / Language: / Comments are closed

The ZEV future is here: An 8,500% increase in truck deployments, commitments is proof.

Commercial U.S. fleets are going big on electric trucks, according to a new EDF analysis of class 2b-8 fleet announcements, which finds a nearly 8,500% increase in zero-emission fleet deployments and commitments since 2017.

To arrive at this eye-popping stat, EDF tracked public announcements of leading fleet commitments to deploy zero-emission trucks, as well as actual deployments (trucks on roads).

The recent influx of these vehicles — most of which are electric — is an important step toward reducing the health-harming, climate change pollution from diesel trucks and a key indicator of a flourishing market. But more ambition from policymakers is needed if we are going to achieve 100% zero-emission truck sales by 2035 — a critical date to ensure a near-zero-emission transportation sector by 2050.

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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.

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Creating data to support communities on the front lines of oil and gas production in the U.S.

By Jeremy Proville and Kate Roberts

This week we published a new study that combines locations of active oil and gas wells with census tract data in a way that helps us better understand the characteristics of the communities living near them. Our findings support what environmental justice groups have been voicing for years: in many counties across America, people who have been historically marginalized — communities of color, older Americans, children and people living under the federal poverty line — often live near wells in greater proportions than the other groups that make up the rest of their local county.

In addition to publishing these data with our study, we also used it to develop an interactive tool, which users can access to explore how each of 13 different demographic groups relate to oil and gas wells across all U.S. counties.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas / 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.

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