Harf

The EPA Might Overturn Another Obama-Era Environmental Protection. Good or Bad and why?

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The Trump administration is continuing its efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations, and the Clean Power Plan may be next in line.

The signature plan under former President Barack Obama was finalized in 2015 as part of ongoing efforts to fight climate change.

The rule required states to reduce their carbon emissions. It also offered incentives for early investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in low-income communities.

The Environmental Protection Agency said by the time the plan was fully implemented in 2030, power plant emissions would be down 32 percent from 2005 levels. In its original proposal, the EPA estimated the plan could prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths per year.

 

But critics say the plan is a federal overreach and hurts coal jobs. The Supreme Court froze its implementation in 2016 following lawsuits from several states and energy companies.

President Donald Trump ordered its review in March. And according to a leaked document obtained by several media outlets, the EPA appears ready to propose a repeal.

The move would be in line with other recent actions by the administration to cut Obama-era regulations.

In June, the EPA moved to repeal a regulation designed to limit pollution in the nation's waterways. That same month, Trump announced his intent to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

If the EPA does propose to repeal the Clean Power Plan, it would likely lead to legal backlash. A lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council said ignoring emissions could put thousands of lives at risk. He told The Washington Post that "the courts are going to look at this very, very hard."

 

 

Edited by Harf

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The arrogance was that Team Obama thought they would make long-term policy change with the much publicized "pen and phone". And if a Dem was in the WH today, that might have been the case as industries would have died under prolonged extreme regulation. 

 

But without the force of laws, someone else's "pen and phone" can just as easily undo prior EO and the related decree by regulation. 

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12 minutes ago, Gotcow? said:

When green energy becomes competitive we won't need to have it shoved down out throats.

 

Until then.............eff them.

If you let Perry change regs as he appears he will not even NG will compete with coal or nukes and consumers will pay up to insure profits 

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4 minutes ago, JimW said:

If you let Perry change regs as he appears he will not even NG will compete with coal or nukes and consumers will pay up to insure profits 

It is not at all clear what you are saying here.  Increased competition means lower prices for consumers.  How does that add up to paying up to insure profits?

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6 minutes ago, DontTreadOnAnyone said:

It is not at all clear what you are saying here.  Increased competition means lower prices for consumers.  How does that add up to paying up to insure profits?

In the minds of certain people, anything done based in the market and competition has to favor the corporations over the people. 

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5 minutes ago, DontTreadOnAnyone said:

It is not at all clear what you are saying here.  Increased competition means lower prices for consumers.  How does that add up to paying up to insure profits?

Search "energy department 90 day fuel rule".  Should give you a number of sources.  

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Just now, tomkaz said:

In the minds of certain people, anything done based in the market and competition has to favor the corporations over the people. 

Inform yourself before getting all judgemental

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44 minutes ago, JimW said:

Search "energy department 90 day fuel rule".  Should give you a number of sources.  

 

43 minutes ago, JimW said:

Inform yourself before getting all judgemental

The issue with alternatives, particularly wind and solar, is the inability to guarantee power around the clock and irrespective of climate conditions. That has create no shortage of concern on how an electrical grid could be reliable 24/7 without the alternatives being backed up by coal/gas, hydro, nuclear or batteries (not viable at this time). The 90-day supply idea will allow some favorable cost accounting for power production plants that are able to keep a 90-day supply of fuel on hand.

 

Yes, that favors plants with storable fuels at the expense of weather-dependent systems, but that also creates a more reliable supply for the grid which will not be dependent on the vagaries of the breeze, the sun being up, etc. 

 

So how is this a sop to the industry and should cost the consumer more?

 

ETA, some details for those unfamiliar:

 

One of the most sweeping changes to the U.S. electricity supply market in the past two decades may be implemented before the coming winter heating season. The brief bottom line of the change is that eligible power sources will be able to participate in a details-to-be-determined rate structure that allows the owner to recover its "fully allocated costs" plus a "fair return on equity."

 

Eligible grid reliability and resiliency resource is any resource that:

 

  1. is an electric generation resource physically located within a Commission-approved independent system operator or regional transmission organization;
  2. is able to provide essential energy and ancillary reliability services, including but not limited to voltage support, frequency services, operating reserves, and reactive power;
  3. has a 90-day fuel supply on site enabling it to operate during an emergency, extreme weather conditions, or a natural or man-made disaster;
  4. is compliant with all applicable federal, state, and local environmental laws, rules, and regulations; and
  5. is not subject to cost of service rate regulation by any state or local regulatory authority

 

All licensed nuclear power plants and a significant portion of existing coal plants can meet those requirements today.

 

Some coal plants cannot store a 90-day fuel supply due to space or environmental limitations. There are also coal plants that cannot meet certain laws, rules or regulations that will go into effect in the near future without investing in new systems.

Several nuclear plants may soon be unable to meet rules associated with once through cooling water discharges without making significant capital investments.

 

How Did The Market Get Notified Of The Change?

Energy Secretary Rick Perry issued a letter to FERC on Friday with the following subject line:

"Secretary of Energy's Direction that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Issue Grid Resiliency Rules Pursuant to the Secretary's Authority Under Section 403 of the Department of Energy Organization Act" (Emphasis added)

Perry's letter concludes with the following statement.

"It is the policy of this Administration to support an "all of the above" approach to energy development and use. We need to properly recognize the value of each resource, being mindful of its role in our national defense, economic security, and pursuit of environmental outcomes. In particular, we must account for the value of on-site fuel storage capability. Moreover, because of the long lead time to secure and maintain these resources, we must also ensure that the technical expertise and materials are readily available. If, for example, we lose our educated workforce or no longer have the ability to build and operate our baseload plants because of short-sighted policies, it will not only weaken our workforce, but with threaten our energy dominance and national security.

"On behalf of the American people, I look forward to your immediate action on the pressing issue of protecting the resiliency of the electric grid."

 

Maria Korsnick, the President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, praised the decisive action.

"This remarkable action by Secretary Perry will help ensure that America's baseload nuclear fleet will remain a strategic asset that contributes to energy security, reliability, economic growth and environmental protection, while advancing American influence abroad."

She went on to describe how short term, energy only markets have failed to compensate "everything that is important to our electricity system."

Her conclusion is worth highlighting.

"This timely move is especially needed for nuclear plants because once they close, they close forever. The clear benefits they provide in terms of jobs, economic growth and environmental protection disappear too, thus the need for this decisive action now. The Secretary's action makes clear that for FERC and the independent system operators that this must be their top priority."

 

In a press statement released Friday by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), Todd Foley, ACORE senior Vice President for policy and government affairs, expressed concern about the way that the rule will "prop up plants that have not been shown to be needed."

He also claimed that "renewable energy technologies provide many resiliency and reliability attributes to the grid, including flexibility, dispatchability, and other essential services."

Edited by tomkaz

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