Category Archives for Policy
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Issue 2, 2015 of American Coal Magazine (pg. 30-32)
Too much, Too fast
By Ken Ditzel and Rob Fisher, FTI Consulting
On November 25, 2014, EPA proposed to strengthen the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for primary and secondary ground-level ozone standards to 65 to 70 ppb from the current standard of 75 ppb set in 2008. The 2008 standard is just now at the beginning stages of implementation planning and far from compliance. Many liken EPA’s proposed actions to “moving the goalposts” before the compliance mechanisms for meeting the 2008 standard are implemented and its health benefits and economic costs are fully understood. Numerous scientists and economists consider the latest proposal to be too much, too fast, or, in other words, it is simply premature.
A new study, published by NERA and available on the AmericasPower.org website is detailing the heavy economic impacts of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
New analysis from NERA Economic Consulting shows the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plan comes with a hefty price tag that could approach $300 billion and raise electricity prices in each of the 47 states subject to the new regulation. …
An interesting study was recently published by University of California Davis researcher, Katherine Ingram that questions the impact of the wind industry on bats, and by extension, the agriculture industry. As one email headline linking to a Daily Caller article on this issue noted, wind energy means less bats and more mosquitos.
A new study by University of California Davis researcher Katherine Ingram claims that bats add $3.7 billion to the U.S. agriculture industry through pest control. As it turns out, eating moths, mosquitos and other bugs make bats a big money saver for farmers, especially organic growers, looking to cut down on pesticide use. …
Betsy Monseu’s recently published article in the Electricity Journal is freely available via the link below until September 22nd. We encourage everyone to check it out while it is still available.
Coal is under pressure in the United States, and not the natural kind of pressure involved in its creation from plant material. The pressure coal is under today is of a distinctly unnatural kind, shaped by an increasingly far-reaching and unbalanced regulatory agenda. The energy playing field continues to be tilted away from coal, a primary target of that agenda. Yet coal’s leading position as a critical fuel in the electricity marketplace continues. Though its share of that marketplace has generally been trending down over the past several years, coal remains the largest of any fuel source for electric generation. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts coal to retain the leading position in 2015 as well as over the longer term – including a 34 percent share in 2040.
Classic lines from Luke Popovich’s “Dateline Washington – EPA Down on the MAT” piece in the July 2015 issue of Coal Age.
“Lawmakers did not anticipate … that the nation’s energy grid would one day be transformed by doctrinaire fanatics running an environmental agency that is indifferent to cost, to the law, to congress and to public opinion. That sounds like the old Soviet Politburo, not the U.S. government. …
The words of Justice Scalia in the majority opinion should be inscribed over the portals of the EPA’s headquarters: ‘It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health benefits.’”
Click here to read the full American Coal Council statement on the EPA’s Final Clean Power Plan Regulation
The final Clean Power Plan continues EPA’s execution of President Obama’s legacy climate change agenda. It is a risky, expensive, and misguided regulatory scheme, devoid of any real climate impact. The increased emphasis on inefficient, intermittent renewables for electricity generation in the final plan only intensifies concerns about grid reliability. The Energy Information Administration projected closure of 90 gigawatts of coal capacity under EPA’s proposed plan. That’s nearly one third of the existing coal fleet, and that number is likely to rise under the final rule. With such drastic reductions, coal plants will be far less available to back up renewables or to buffer spiking natural gas prices. …
“Coal – Evolving in the Energy Space” – Regulatory Spotlight – Clean Power Plan
With the release of EPA’s final Clean Power Plan just one week before Coal Market Strategies, the timing of our conference couldn’t be better. Meet your coal sector colleagues in Park City, Utah August 10-12, 2015 and benefit from up-to-the minute expert insight and analysis on these critical regulations and other important topics.
Don’t miss out! Register today
EPA’s carbon rules will be addressed by two speakers:
Allison Wood, Partner, Hunton and Williams – Legal issues
This July 6th WSJ editorial on the fantasy of relying on renewable energy is a must read. Here’s a few good quotes from the article to get you started.
Recently Bill Gates explained in an interview with the Financial Times why current renewables are dead-end technologies. They are unreliable. Battery storage is inadequate. Wind and solar output depends on the weather. The cost of decarbonization using today’s technology is “beyond astronomical,” Mr. Gates concluded. …
The Supreme Court dealt the EPA a substantial setback in their Monday, June 29 ruling that struck down the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). The 5-4 decision ruled that the EPA misinterpreted the Clean Air Act in that they did not consider the costs of the emissions reductions mandated by the rule. This decision overturned an April 2014 District Court ruling that found the EPA had acted within its legal mandate. SCOTUS remanded the the regulation back to the D.C. Circuit Court, which must now reconsider the case.
Readers can click here to download the full text of the decision.