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Editorial comment

California is coming for your pools”, says Politico.1 The state of California is making efforts to reduce power usage in the evenings, since that is when the state uses the most natural gas.

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The California Energy Commission voted on 18 October to require residential pools to be able to shut off their electricity when the grid instructs them to. “Starting in September 2025, all pool pumps sold in California will have to be able to connect to the internet and operate by default from 9 am to 3 pm. Anyone building a new swimming pool at home [...] or replacing their pump will have to install the new version, but will still be able to use the pump outside daytime hours.” The smart pumps are expected to reduce the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5% and it’s hoped that by 2033, the state could gain over 500 MW of power by shutting off pool pumps (enough to power about half a million homes).

A pair of new California laws concerning corporate climate disclosures were signed into law in October, requiring companies that are active in the state and generate revenue of more than US$1 billion annually to publish an extensive account of their carbon emissions starting in 2026. Reuters reports that, “The SEC has drafted its own rules, which would not go as far, giving companies discretion over disclosing some emissions they deem not material or not pertaining to their emission reduction targets. The SEC’s rules would apply to all US-listed companies”.2

This kind of mandated reporting seeks to hold companies to account for disclosing scope 1 and 2 emissions, along with scope 3 (emissions resulting from the use or disposal of their products). Under the spotlight currently is ExxonMobil’s US$60 billion bid for Pioneer Natural Resources, set to expand ExxonMobil’s footprint in the USA’s biggest oilfield. The much talked about acquisition has raised questions for shareholders over the company’s commitment to transitioning to low-carbon energy. ExxonMobil has “sought to play up the environmental benefits [of the deal] saying it will shave 15 years off Pioneer’s target to reduce operational emissions to net zero by 2050. It also pledged to apply technologies to monitor, measure and address fugitive methane emissions from operations”.3

Smart technology, in combination with regulation, is one way to control energy use and meet net-zero targets. It requires compliance, and oversight, but it packs a punch when properly enacted.

This month’s cover story, written by MISTRAS (p. 13), focuses on compliance: offering guidance on how to achieve ‘Mega Rule’ compliance by meeting the requirements on pipeline material properties and MAOP. PHMSA’s 2020 revisions to 49 CFR 192 Part 1 seek to increase the level of safety associated with the transportation and operation of onshore gas transmission pipelines. Read the article to find out how we can use data collection tools to meet requirements by the regulatory due dates.

The pipeline industry is primed to benefit from using digital, or smart, solutions to meet regulations and standards. In this issue we cover: how operators are using digital and decarbonisation solutions to meet net-zero goals (Wood, p. 8); how training systems can help pipeline control personnel recognise and react to abnormal operating conditions (Atmos International, p. 20); and where remote monitoring and Edge computing can make a difference to pipeline efficiency and safety (Ovarro, p. 47). DNV’s article on hydrogen and CCS transportation standards (p.31), along with Fugro’s piece on the Aramis CCS project (p.27), provide a look at the pipeline transport standards of the future.

Of course, in CCS news this month, Navigator CO2 Ventures cancelled its Heartland Greenway pipeline project, designed to capture 15 million tpy of CO2 from Midwest ethanol plants for permanent storage underground. The 2092 km pipeline would have traversed five US states. The company cited “unpredictable” state regulatory processes as the reason for cancellation.


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