The Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE) provides a plan for states to make realistic assessments and upgrade their power plants with clean technologies so that they can operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. ACE refocuses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on sound science, transparency, supply diversity, and the rule of law, rather than bureaucratic overreach and politics. Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which ACE replaces, was never implemented. The United States Supreme Court stopped the rule, partly due to claims from over half the states that they would suffer “irreparable injury” without intervention. The stay on implementation was an extraordinary step for the Supreme Court, which many Court-watchers at the time said indicated displeasure with a vast rule with enormous consequences.
Affordable Clean Energy Rule
On June 19, 2019, EPA issued ACE, replacing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan with a rule that establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit carbon dioxide at their coal-fired electric generating units. ACE regulates the electric industry on a plant-by-plant basis, allowing older plants to keep operating as they adopt improved, more-efficient technology. The new plan removes the federal government’s power to set emissions-reduction targets across the industry, regulating only “inside the fence line of” each plant. It creates a menu of technological options the plants can choose from to boost efficiency, using less coal to generate the same amount of electricity. States have the authority to design plans for power plants within their borders, with three years to develop and submit the plans to the EPA for approval.
More specifically, ACE establishes heat rate improvement—a measure of the amount of energy required to generate a unit of electricity—as the best system of emissions reduction for carbon dioxide from coal-fired generating units. ACE provides six “candidate technologies:”
• Neural Network/Intelligent Sootblowers
• Boiler Feed Pumps
• Air Heater and Duct Leakage Control
• Variable Frequency Drives
• Blade Path Upgrade (Steam Turbine)
• Redesign/Replace Economizer
ACE does not set a specific target for the power sector to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, giving states the authority to write their own plans for reducing carbon dioxide at individual plants. The Trump EPA estimates that carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced through both market forces and ACE by as much as 35 percent below 2005 levels in 2030, which is similar to reduction estimates calculated by Obama’s EPA for the Clean Power Plan. Trump’s EPA estimates ACE will directly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 11 million metric tons by 2030—a 0.7 percent reduction compared to no regulation. There would also be benefits from reducing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and mercury emissions, which are already controlled by other regulations and have been declining rapidly.
EPA Finalizes the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, Replacing Clean Power Plan
By T.L. Headley, American Coal Council
MORGANTOWN, WV — Brian Anderson, Ph.D., was recently named the new director of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg made the announcement of Anderson’s appointment November 11, 2018.
Anderson’s move was only a mile-and-a-half down the street. He comes to NETL from West Virginia University (WVU), where he served as director of the university’s Energy Institute.
“Dr. Anderson’s extensive experience and knowledge in engineering and science is extraordinary. As the only national laboratory that is fully owned and operated by the Department of Energy, I am confident the National Energy Technology Laboratory will continue to make strides in advancing coal, natural gas, oil and other energy technologies under his leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
Meet Dr. Brian Anderson – NETL’s New Director
By TERRY JARRETT
The controversy continues over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) years-long attempt to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired power plants. The question is, can the agency’s latest effort withstand legal scrutiny?
The EPA’s quest to regulate CO2 emissions from coal plants began with the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan to address climate change. In 2015, the EPA rolled out the Clean Power Plan (CPP) with much fanfare. The CPP was an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030.
Almost immediately, the CPP generated a host of legal concerns, including that it overturned decades of agency precedent and dramatically exceeded the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act. There are 150 entities – including 27 states – that have filed 15 lawsuits challenging the CPP. The CPP was of such dubious legality that the United States Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of staying implementation of the rule while the court cases were pending. As a result, the CPP never took effect.
Donald Trump became President in January 2017. During the campaign, he had promised to end the war on coal. One of his targets was repealing the CPP.
On Aug. 21, 2018, the EPA announced the replacement for the CPP. Called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, its goal is to reduce power sector CO2 emissions similar to the CPP. Beyond that, the two plans are quite different.
By TERRY JARRETT
Waco Tribune-Herald (May 29, 2019) — Texas is once again at the center of America’s energy sector, thanks to emerging trends in both natural gas production and renewable energy. Not only does Texas lead the nation in both crude oil and natural gas production, but it also generates more renewable electricity than any other state. At the same time, however, Texas is rapidly transforming its electric grid. And that transition — to a greater reliance on weather-dependent and on-demand systems — could have serious consequences for reliable and affordable power statewide.
Texas’ electricity sector has undoubtedly become the envy of the nation, as it produces almost twice as much power as its nearest competitor, Florida. Part of that success comes from Texas leading the nation in wind-powered generation. In 2017, Texas produced one-fourth of total U.S. wind-generated electricity. And since 2014, Texas wind turbines have produced more electricity than the state’s two nuclear power plants.
This sounds impressive. But there may be trouble ahead. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) forecasts a tight margin for the state’s electricity use this summer. Peak demand could hit a new record — and potentially spur an Energy Emergency Alert needed to maintain grid reliability
By PAUL REAGAN
Sampling Associates International, LLC
Editor’s note: This article was written to provide information to coal exporters regarding shippers’ responsibilities and compliance with the new IMSBC Code regulations for Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) effective January 1, 2019. The article was reviewed for technical correctness by the Hazardous Materials Division of the United States Coast Guard, which is the “Competent Authority” for the United States and is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the IMSBC Code, including provisions related to the TML. This article first appeared in IHS Markit’s Coal & Energy Price Report and ran as a two-part series.
Paul Reagan is president of Sampling Associates International, LLC and can be contacted via phone at 757.876.5217 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) publishes the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code which specifies the requirements for carriage of solid bulk cargoes other than grain on vessels to which the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is applicable. This article will address the rules and regulations governing the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) for coal that became mandatory as of January 1, 2019.
Testing for the TML is driven by the safety requirements for identifying and preventing the conditions that might cause a solid bulk cargo to undergo liquefaction in the hold of a ship and create dangerous conditions due to loss of stability of the vessel.
Liquefaction of a solid bulk cargo can occur for a number of reasons – but in the case of coal it is primarily related to the interaction between the particle size of the cargo and its moisture content.
The IMSBC Code states “Cargoes that may liquefy means cargoes which contain a certain proportion of fine particles and a certain amount of moisture. They may liquefy if shipped with a moisture content in excess of their TML.”
It is important to note that the recent IMO decision to develop a specific test method for determining the TML of coal cargoes was intended to provide clarity on determining whether or not a given coal is both Group B and Group A. It has long been known that certain coals have the potential to liquefy, as seen by the Group B (and A) classification since the first edition of the IMSBC Code. The decision by the IMO to update many requirements for cargoes that can liquefy was driven by a concern for safety for all bulk carriers after some serious accidents involving other bulk cargos – most notably, nickel concentrates and iron ore fines. The truth is that there have been no known coal shipments from the United States that have liquefied in transit.
While the risk of liquefaction of most US coals is remote, it does not relieve US coal shippers of their responsibilities as outlined in the IMSBC Code. Recent developments in the Code for coal place certain responsibilities on the shipper with respect to declarations to the master of the vessel regarding the cargo to be loaded – as well as certain testing and supporting documentation for those declarations.
CEO, National Coal Council
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 ~ 2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern Time
The U.S. is embarking on a New Age of Carbon which will usher in significant opportunities for coal beyond conventional markets for power generation and steelmaking. Coal, with its inherent carbon content, is on the crest of powering a wave of innovation in advanced products and manufacturing.
This presentation will detail findings and recommendations from the National Coal Council’s recent report for Energy Secretary Perry assessing opportunities to enhance the use of U.S. coal in non-conventional markets. Among the topics to be addressed:
- What significant market-scale opportunities exist for new markets for coal?
- What are the economic, energy security, trade, environmental and other benefits afforded by new markets for coal?
- What can be done to enhance and accelerate the commercial deployment of new markets for coal?
Join us as Janet Gellici discusses “Coal in a New Carbon Age”.
Register Today: http://www.eiseverywhere.com/452730
There is no charge for members of the
American Coal Council, but pre-registration is required.
Non-members may register for a fee of $50.
The National Coal Council provides advice and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Energy on general policy matters relating to coal and the coal industry. The NCC is a Federal Advisory Committee organized under FACA legislation, and was chartered in 1984.
The American Coal Council’s Coal Q&A Program provides a forum to address critical issues affecting the U.S. coal industry ~ including coal producers, consumers and transporters. Each program begins with a topic briefing by a leading industry analyst or representative, followed by a Q&A session.
ACC CEO Betsy Monseu, along with other coal and hardrock mining representatives of the Women’s Mining Coalition (WMC), participated in WMC’s 27th annual Washington DC fly-in during the week of April 29. The group had a series of meetings with Congressional members and staff and federal agency officials.
After many years of service and a job well done in managing all of the moving parts of an annual fly-in, WMC Coordinator Lynne Volpi is retiring. Emily Arthun, formerly with Cloud Peak Energy, succeeds her. Congratulations to Lynne and best wishes to Emily!
By Jordan McGillis
Institute for Energy Research
WASHINGTON, DC (April 2019) – In early 2019 the Congressional Progressive Caucus has sought to shift the Overton window for energy and environmental policy. February’s resolution “recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal” communicates a consistent, if nebulous, view: government must dictate our energy choices to us, lest we careen toward environmental disaster. Short on specific mechanisms, the Green New Deal is not so much a concrete policy proposal, but rather a repudiation of capitalism as such. In response, various conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, and others who tend to support a free-market economic system have groped for an answer of their own to the climate change question. While some are proposing subsidizing their pet technologies, others—the more intellectually ambitious—are coalescing around the carbon tax.
Unlike support for the Green New Deal, support for a carbon tax does not necessarily arise from categorical opposition to capitalism, but often arises from a concern that the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas—despite the benefits—in some way jeopardizes our future. With its mimicking of a price system, the carbon tax offers a less flagrant, more sophisticated means of economic intervention than the Green New Deal’s command-and-control approach. Some carbon tax proponents go so far as to claim that a carbon tax is a means of “unleash(ing) the power of our free enterprise system.” This optimism is unfounded. Carbon taxes are nonobjective, they are coercive, and they are impediments to prosperity. As this paper will make clear, the carbon tax lacks merit as a public policy.
This paper comprises six core points against the carbon tax:
- Carbon taxes are set arbitrarily.
- The climate change mitigation goals of the world’s leading political bodies are at odds with the climate economics literature.
- A U.S. tax-and-rebate plan would slow economic growth.
- Carbon taxes have unexpected, adverse tax effects.
- A U.S. carbon tax would be irrelevant.
- A U.S. carbon tax that would replace existing regulations and/or taxes is not politically viable.
By Mark P. Mills
NEW YORK (March 26, 2019) – A movement has been growing for decades to replace hydrocarbons, which collectively supply 84% of the world’s energy. It began with the fear that we were running out of oil. That fear has since migrated to the belief that, because of climate change and other environmental concerns, society can no longer tolerate burning oil, natural gas, and coal—all of which have turned out to be abundant.
So far, wind, solar, and batteries—the favored alternatives to hydrocarbons—provide about 2% of the world’s energy and 3% of America’s. Nonetheless, a bold new claim has gained popularity: that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that not only can, but inevitably will, rapidly replace all hydrocarbons.
This “new energy economy” rests on the belief—a centerpiece of the Green New Deal and other similar proposals both here and in Europe—that the technologies of wind and solar power and battery storage are undergoing the kind of disruption experienced in computing and communications, dramatically lowering costs and increasing efficiency. But this core analogy glosses over profound differences, grounded in physics, between systems that produce energy and those that produce information.
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