Sunday, January 27, 2019

"American natural gas is improving the air"

An opinion piece by Todd Staples, President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association:
The U.S. shale revolution, propelled by unprecedented production in Texas, has elevated the United States as the world’s top oil and natural gas producer. While much attention is paid to the indisputable benefits of job growth, domestic energy security and global stability, another life-changing achievement receives far less coverage: American natural gas is making the air cleaner at home and around the world.

The U.S. not only leads in energy production, but our nation also leads the world in emission reductions – while helping other countries improve their air.

Natural gas, now America’s leading source of electricity generation, is credited with driving U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions to their lowest levels since 1992. The U.S. Global Change Research Program reports that North American CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion have declined on average by 1 percent per year over the last decade, “largely because of reduced reliance on coal, greater use of natural gas, and increased vehicle fuel efficiency standards.”

Natural gas operators are poised to play a key role in future environmental progress through continued aggressive and innovative efforts to reduce methane emissions. So far, these efforts, driven by billions of dollars invested in advanced technologies, have led to an approximately 14 percent reduction in methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems since 1990. Domestic natural gas production increased by 50 percent during the same period. Simply put, production is up and emissions are down – an incredible achievement.

Meanwhile, CO2 emissions around the globe increased 50 percent since 1990. Fortunately, help in improving air quality around the world is on the way, as the U.S. could more than double its natural gas export capacity in the next year, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration

Just as it has in the United States, expanded use of natural gas is improving air quality elsewhere. As China transitioned more of its power generation to natural gas, the country benefitted from a 33 percent decrease in air pollution from a year earlier across Beijing, Tianjin and 26 surrounding cities, according to a report by Greenpeace East Asia. Pollution levels in Beijing alone dropped 54 percent, according to the report.

Texas leaders like Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner recognize the role exported LNG will make toward continued environmental progress. In a letter in support of a proposed LNG export terminal and pipeline project, Mayor Turner demonstrated his leadership and understanding that expanded energy infrastructure in Texas will enable “developed and emerging markets around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Our nation and our trading partners are realizing this tremendous progress because of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking. This safe, proven technique has unleashed vast reserves of oil and natural gas that are quite literally changing the world. The abundant and affordable supply of clean burning natural gas is a global game changer and Texas producers are the pacesetters. America is more secure, the world is more stable, and the air is cleaner because of fracking.

As countries around the world grow their economies and demand more energy and a better way of life, American natural gas is poised to be part of the solution – both for the environment and the global economy.

Todd Staples was formerly Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

BYD Electric Buses Plagued With Problems.

BYD has been manufacturing electric buses in Lancaster, California, for the past nine years, but they are contending with a record of poor performance. Actual driving ranges are dozens of miles short of what is claimed. The first five buses sold to L.A. Metro were pulled off the street in less than five months. Agency staff found they were unreliable for 100 mile distances.

When BYD delivered its first five buses to L.A. Metro in 2015, they had immediate problems. They would stall on hills. BYD had promised a range of 155 miles per charge, but in reality the range averaged only 59 miles. In most months, the buses required road calls after less than 400 miles. L.A. Metro deemed them unsuitable after four months. BYD offered to take them back. BYD accused L.A. Metro drivers of taking their BYD buses on hills that were too steep, and they made unnecessary road calls. L.A. Metro also cited delays for parts.

Problems with doors on BYD buses have been reported in Anaheim and Denver. Cracks in frames appeared during federal endurance testing last year.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Growth of Natural Gas Use in Vehicles Expected

Due to "a prolonged period of stable diesel fuel prices and new competition emerging from electric vehicles", some of the excitement about natural gas as a transportation fuel has subsided in recent years. But there are some developments that could bring back that excitement. One is the new Cummins Westport ISX 12N engine which will provide natural gas users with unprecedented performance and efficiency. That, plus extended engine oil intervals and a growing fueling infrastructure will bring renewed interest in natural gas.

The 2017 income tax measure approved retroactive tax credits for vehicles and refueling infrastructure.

The refuse industry has been adding natural gas vehicles in "significant volume." Sales of natural gas vehicles are expected to increase 10% annually. "Clean Energy Fuels reported demand for its Redeem RNG product grew 32% during 2017."

"UPS announced an agreement with Big Ox Energy to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents of RNG a year. During 2017, the Atlanta-based parcel giant announced a planned investment of more than $90 million for six additional CNG stations, 390 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks, and 250 LNG vehicles."

Clean Energy won a four-year fueling contract from Ryder for a fleet of LNG heavy duty trucks used by Toyota Motor Corporation in Kentucky. They expect to supply 380,000 GGE of LNG annually to Toyota.

Last year, Nestlé Waters North America added 155 Ford F-650 delivery trucks that run on propane autogas, bringing its total to 600, or 30% of its total North American fleet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Improved User Interface for Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Clean Cities has announced an upgrade to their Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Station Locator. You can find the upgraded Station Locator here.
Some of the notable new features include a sleek look and feel, simplifying the user experience, as well as a bigger map populated with consistent circle icons for each station location and updated colors representing each fuel type. Users will also notice a larger and more detailed view of specific station information.

On the Station Locator home page, there are now two tabs at the top of the map: Find Public Stations and Analyze and Download Data.

The Find Public Stations tab allows users to search for public stations at a specific location, with the option to search for all fuels or just one.

The Analyze and Download Data tab allows users to refine their search using filters, broken out into three categories: Location, Fuel, and Station.

Sunday, April 8, 2018