#natural gas
Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

Renewable Energy Passes Coal, Treasury Dept. Extends Renewable Tax Credits

The Energy Department (DOE) reported yesterday that for the first time since basically the industrial revolution began in the late nineteenth century, in 2019 renewable energy consumption surpassed the consumption of energy generated by coal.  Coal power generation declined by 15% last year, while renewables increased by 1%.

Why This Matters:  Ten years ago coal dominated the power sector, but the trend toward wind and solar is unlikely to reverse — coal is now on its way out completely here.

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The Impact of the Oil Price War On Methane Flaring Is Uncertain

With oil prices plummeting to 18-year lows, oil and gas companies are scaling back by cutting workers, halting infrastructure investments, and drastically reducing oil and gas production. But will the natural gas industry finally get their outrageous methane leaks under control?

Why This Matters:  Methane is the most potent greenhouse gas in terms of its short term impact.  The Trump Administration made flaring methane even easier.

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Bloomberg’s Position on Natural Gas Gets Greater Scrutiny

Bloomberg’s Position on Natural Gas Gets Greater Scrutiny

Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s position on natural gas took center stage yesterday with the President tweeting to “Texas & Oklahoma” — two Super Tuesday states — that people should not vote for “Mini Mike” because he will kill “your drilling, fracking, and pipelines.”  However, according to The Washington Post, Bloomberg’s position on natural gas is more complicated.

Why This Matters:  Bloomberg has funded a highly successful campaign to shutter dirty coal plants in the U.S., but overall his position on fossil fuels is the most conservative of the remaining top tier Presidential candidates.

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JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan Chase, the largest funder of oil and gas projects in the Arctic, announced on Monday that it will no longer fund those projects and it will reduce its investment in coal-fired power projects, but it will continue to invest in oil and gas projects in the rest of the U.S.

Why This Matters:  The commitment by JP Morgan to stay out of the Arctic shows that pressure from the public is working — forcing the bank to reconsider its fossil fuel loans and investments in a part of the planet which is changing more rapidly than most areas.

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One Cool Thing: Gas Heating to be Banned in Scotland’s Castles

One Cool Thing: Gas Heating to be Banned in Scotland’s Castles

Scotland is surging full speed ahead with its sustainability goals and is on track to source 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources. As such, Scottish institutions such as the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) are doing their part to help meet the government’s goals. HES said it aims to be “net-zero” by 2045 in […]

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Energy Markets Feeling the Effects of 2020’s Warm Winter

Energy Markets Feeling the Effects of 2020’s Warm Winter

We wrote last week that 2020 is on track to be the warmest winter ever. The unusually high temps have been affecting the entire world, from agriculture to infectious disease–it’s a reminder that we need winters and when it’s not cold enough we suffer the repercussions. Now, in a twisted case of poetic justice, it […]

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Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Utilities Promising to Get to Net Zero Need Gas To Get There

Numerous progressive utilities such as Xcel, which have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, are struggling to get there without expanding the use of natural gas and this is fueling a broader and divisive debate around gas’s future, according to Inside Climate News.  The plan drawn up by Xcel, which serves 3.6 million customers […]

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DOE Predicts CO2 Emissions AND Renewables Increase by 2050

DOE Predicts CO2 Emissions AND Renewables Increase by 2050

The Energy Department put out its 2019 International Energy Outlook and two big headlines emerged — first that CO2 emissions worldwide will increase by 20% overall through 2050 because of emissions from developing countries, and second that renewable sources will provide half of all electricity globally by midcentury.

Why This Matters:  CO2 emissions from developed nations decrease by -.2% annually for the next 30 years, while in developing countries CO2 emissions are expected to grow 1% a year.  Countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are growing in key respects — they collectively have more population, a larger gross domestic product, more energy consumption, and higher energy-related CO2 emissions. 

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New Study Shows Natural Gas Power Plants Are A “Bridge” That Goes Too Far

A new study by the Rocky Mountain Institute published yesterday makes the case that the U.S. may be making too big an investment in natural gas power infrastructure — power plants and pipelines — the life of those plants go out past 2050 and are more than just a “bridge” to renewable power.  Not only […]

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Deadly Gas Pipeline Explosion Rocks Kentucky

Deadly Gas Pipeline Explosion Rocks Kentucky

A large regional pipeline owned by Enbridge that carries natural gas from the Mexican border in Texas to New York City exploded in rural Kentucky early Thursday morning, killing one and injuring five others in what one resident described as a tornado of fire.  CBS News reported that the explosion destroyed railroad tracks and several trailer homes causing tremendous damage in its vicinity — it was so big it could be seen by weather radar — and it took several hours to bring under control by local fire officials. 

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Pipeline Company Challenges Gas Venting and Flaring in Texas

Pipeline Company Challenges Gas Venting and Flaring in Texas

In a first of its kind challenge, the Williams Pipeline Company is fighting to prevent natural gas venting and flaring by Exco Resources Inc., which is seeking to release nearly all of the gas produced by a group of its South Texas wells as a byproduct of its drilling for shale oil — Williams argues that this practice is a massive waste of natural gas and the flaring is banned by law

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Michael Bloomberg Pledges $500M to Shut Coal Plants

Michael Bloomberg Pledges $500M to Shut Coal Plants

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged in a graduation speech at MIT late last week to spend $500m on a campaign focused on persuading state and local governments to speed the closure of the 241 remaining coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and to end the growth of plants that run on natural gas. Blocking natural gas from filling in behind coal will be especially difficult, and Axios’ Amy Harder reported that it was “the fastest-growing energy source last year —accounting for 45% of all such growth — with most regions and many industries turning to the fuel as a cleaner alternative to coal and oil.”

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