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Utilities Coalition Challenging Trump's ACE Plan (Ind. Report)
Power Companies Climate Coalition
Date: 2019-09-18
Reuters is reporting New York-based Con Edison and eight other U.S. utilities -- the Power Companies Climate Coalition -- have filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Trump's plan replaces the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan that would have cut power plant carbon emissions by more than a third from 2005 levels by 2030 by virtually eliminating coal-fired power production.

According to the filing, Trump's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule undermines efforts already under way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy, electric vehicle infrastructure and energy efficiency and other clean technologies.

ACE allows states three years to devise their own plans to cut emissions mainly by encouraging coal-fired power plants to improve efficiency.

The coalition members include: Con Edison, Exelon Corp, National Grid, PG&E Corp, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Seattle City Light, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and New York Power Authority. (Source: Con Edison, Guardian, Reuters, 16 Sept., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Power Companies Climate Coalition,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  Affordable Clean Energy Plan ,  


Notable Quote -- The Donald's "Do Nothing" ACE Rule
ACE, Affordable Clean Energy Rule
Date: 2019-08-14
"Without significant course correction, we are careening toward a climate disaster. (the coalition of) States and cities will fight back against this unlawful, do-nothing (Affordable Clean Energy) rule." -- Letitia James , New York Attorney General

More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump,  Affordable Clean Energy Rule,  


States, Cities Coalition Tackle Trump's ACE Rule (Ind. Report)
Trump.Obama Clean Power Plan
Date: 2019-08-14
Reuters is reporting New York and California, along with 20 other states and seven cities on Tuesday sued to challenge the Trump administration EPA's replacement of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.

The suit claims the Trump Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule will prolong the country's reliance on coal power, hinder states that pursue cleaner electricity generation, will not curb rising power plant carbon emissions and will prolong the operation of dirtier coal plants. (Source: HPMG News, Various Media, Reuters 13 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Affordable Clean Energy ruke,  ACE Rule,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  Trump,  Obama Clean Power Plan,  


Notable Quote -- Obama Clean Power Plan v.s. Trump Affordable Clean Energy Plan
Obama Clean Power Plan
Date: 2019-07-12
"You can see just with that comparison (with the Obama Clean Energy Plan) that the Trump (Affordable Clean Energy) plan is actually designed to do almost nothing to deal with carbon pollution from the electric power sector.

"It's very interesting that a rule that purports to be trying to reduce pollution -- by their own projection -- might increase it. There is a part of the proposal that would allow coal plants to update, allowing them to run longer without putting any pollution controls on. That's kind of a life extension project for coal plants.

"So a policy that says that it's supposed to be reducing pollution actually increases it under certain projections. And I think a court might have a hard time with that and say how could this be defended as a rational plan." -- Jody Freeman, Former Obama White House Counselor for Energy and Climate Change; founder of the Harvard University Environment and Energy Law Program (Source: NPR News, 12 July, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plam news,  Trump Afordable Clean Energy Plan news,  


Statement from a Coalition of Free-Market State Think Tanks on Trump Administration Affordable Clean Energy Rule (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Affordable Clean Energy Plan
Date: 2019-06-28
Editor's Note: This publication, its editors and administration neither agrees or disagrees with the views presented in the following statement from the McIver Institute

"The Trump administration's finalized Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule is a major victory for America's middle class, many of whom work in energy intensive industries like manufacturing and mining. It also represents a boon to America's least fortunate for whom energy costs represent a significant part of their budget. All Americans would have been harmed by the Obama administration's legally flawed Clean Power Plan. It would have dramatically increased the cost of electricity and was predicted to reduce global warming by only 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100, an amount far too small to be measured.

"After Congress rejected proposed cap-and-trade legislation, the Obama administration crafted the Clean Power Plan to force states into regional cap-and-trade plans. President Trump's plan disallows such plans for compliance and focuses, instead, on improving the efficiencies of individual plants.

"The Clean Power Plan claimed to seek a 32 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, at an estimated compliance cost of $9 billion. The US Chamber of Commerce estimated a more realistic $75 billion in compliance costs. The Rule was met with bipartisan opposition by 27 states who won a Supreme Court stay of the Rule in 2016.

"The Clean Power Plan was also completely unnecessary. Thanks to the Trump administration's commonsense approach, emissions have fallen by 28 pct since 2017 and are forecast to be reduced 35 pct by 2030. At a compliance cost of $0.3 billion for the ACE rule, these gains were at 250 times less cost than the previous administration's alternative." -- The MacIver Institute

The MacIver Institute is joined by the Caesar Rodney Institute, the Center of the American Experiment, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Independence Institute, John Locke Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity, the Rio Grande Foundation, and the Roughrider Policy Center in supporting the ACE. (Source: MacIver Institute, June, 2019) Contact: The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Brett Healy, President 608.588.6477, bhealy@maciverinstitute.com, www.maciverinstitute.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan,  Trump,  Affordable Clean Energy,  


Notable Quote -- Woody Biomass and the EPA's ACE Rules
Biomass
Date: 2019-06-26
"In a bit of an Orwellian logic, the (Trump) EPA's recently finalized ACE (Affordable Clean Energy) rules ... ignore the basis for why using biomass for power and heat is the principal pathway for decarbonization in most other developed countries. By only counting the CO2 emission at the source and ignoring the continuous adsorption of CO2 by sustainably managed forests, the EPA has excluded a proper consideration of the dynamics that keep the net CO2 added into the atmosphere neutral or even negative.

"In Europe, wood pellets and wood chips are recognized as low carbon fuels because a full life-cycle analysis shows that under well-crafted (and necessary) sustainability criteria, the combustion of those fuels is carbon neutral. The supply chain carbon footprint accounting, given that fossil fuel are used in transportation and in the electricity used to upgrade the biomass into pellets, typically yields an 85 percent or more reduction in net CO2 added to the atmosphere. Because of the carbon benefits, biomass derived fuel makes up about 60 percent of the total renewable energy in the EU28." -- William Strauss, Pres, FutureMetrics, June 24, 2019

Bethel, Maine-based FutureMetrics released the above statement criticizing the Trump Administration EPA's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Program for its treatment of biomass and calling the program's discussion of how to measure CO2 emissions "misguided."

The ACE program, which replaces Obama's Clean Power Plan, specifies that biomass co-firing is not compliant with the ACE program. Contact: FutureMetrics LLC, William Strauss, 207-824-6702, 207-357-8708 Cell, WilliamStrauss@FutureMetrics.com, www.futuremetrics.info

More Low-Carbon Energy News EPA,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet,  CO2 Emissions,  


EPA Rolls Back Obama's Coal-Plant Clean Power Plan (Reg. & Leg.)
Obama Clean Power Plan
Date: 2019-06-21
The Republican Trump administration's EPA has over ruled former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan with the introduction of its Affordable Clean Energy rule allowing states to set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.

As absurd and politically motivated as it may appear, the EPA's new rule could, by the agency's own admission, result in 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace.

The Obama Clean Power Plan, which was never officially implemented, would have prevented 3,600 premature deaths a year, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks, as well as cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 32 pct compared to 2005 levels, according to analysis conducted by the Obama era EPA.

The Trump administration's plan is a shamefully thin- veiled move to support the coal industry, as promised in his election campaign. Environmental groups and several states who see Trump's action as detrimental to clean air and efforts to fight the climate crisis have already given notice of impending action against the Trump plan. (Source: EPA, Various Media, 19 June, 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan,  Coal,  Carbon Emissions,  


Inslee Opposes Proposed Clean Power Plan Roll-Bach (Ind. Report)
Gov. Jay Inslee
Date: 2018-10-03
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (DEM) testified last week in Chicago against the Trump Administration's plan to roll back the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.

The broadly supported Clean Power Plan is a cost-effective and flexible approach to reduce power plant emissions and would have helped reduce carbon pollution by approximately 350 million tonnes (M) by 2030.

According to the EPA, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy Rule  is 90 to 97 pct weaker than Obama's Clean Power Plan and will do little to curb emissions -- less than the closing of a single large coal power plant -- by 2030. (Source: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee Website, Access Washington, 1 Oct., 2018) Contact: Office of Washington Sate Gov. Jay Inslee, Communications Office, Tara Lee, (360) 902-4136, www.governor.wa.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Gov. Jay Inslee,  Clean Power Plan,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Trump's New Affordable Clean Energy Rule Fast Facts (Reg. & Leg.)
Clean Power Plan
Date: 2018-08-29
On August 21, 2018, the U.S. EPA proposed the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule which would establish emission guidelines for states to develop plans to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

The ACE rule would replace the 2015 (Obama administration) Clean Power Plan (CPP) which EPA has proposed to repeal because it "exceeded EPA's authority." The CPP was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court and has never gone into effect.

The ACE rule has several components: a determination of the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants, a list of "candidate technologies" states can use when developing their plans, a new preliminary applicability test for determining whether a physical or operational change made to a power plant may be a "major modification" triggering New Source Review, and new implementation regulations for emission guidelines under Clean Air Act section 111(d). The EPA notes that with CO2 emissions steadily declining:

  • EPA projects that, compared to a no CPP scenario, the ACE rule will reduce CO2 emissions in 2025 by between 13 and 30 million short tons, resulting in $1.6 billion in monetized domestic climate benefits;
  • EPA estimates that the ACE rule could reduce 2030 CO2 emissions by an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of up to 5 million cars. The rule could also reduce co-pollutant emissions by up to 2 pct.;
  • These illustrative scenarios suggest that when states have fully implemented the ACE rule, U.S. power sector CO2 emissions could be around 34 pct below 2005 levels;
  • CO2 emissions in the power sector have steadily declined in recent years due to a range of factors including market forces, technology improvements, regulatory and policy changes. As a result, the industry has increased the use of natural gas and renewable energy sources;
  • These trends have resulted in CO2 emission reductions even as the U.S. has sustained economic growth and job gains across the economy without the (Obama) Clean Power Plan ever going into effect;
  • The (Trump) ACE rule will continue this trend;
  • The power sector emitted roughly 1.9 billion tons of CO2 in 2017, compared to 2.7 billion tons in 2005 -- a 28 pct decrease.
  • Approximately 600 coal-fired electric generating units at 300 facilities could be covered by the ACE rule.

    According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. leads the world in reducing CO2 emissions with U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions falling by 14 pct between 2005 to 2017, with coal-related CO2 emissions down 39 pct over that period. During that time, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 21 pct.

    More information and additional fact sheets along with copies of the proposed rule and accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis are available HERE, www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-08/documents/ace_trends.pdf. (Source: US EPA, EIA, 27 Aug., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump.Carbon Emissions,  Clean Power Plan ,  


  • New EPA Administrator Wheeler Touting Trump's "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" (Reg & Leg)
    Coal,Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2018-08-27
    Greg Pruitt's replacement at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler has been making the rounds in Kentucky coal country touting President Donald Trump's Affordable Clean Energy Rule, a new plan aimed at aiding the beleaguered coal industry.

    Trump's proposal aims to replace the Obama administration's signature effort to slow global warming by limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants. To that end, Trump's plan broadly increases each individual state's authority to decide how to regulate coal plants, the reasoning being that states that are heavily into coal and other fossil fuels will legislate favorably toward its fossil fuel industries.

    Even so, Wheeler claims carbon emissions would continue decreasing under Trump's plan, albeit, not as quickly as under Obama's plan which Trump claims was tantamount to a "war on Coal." The Trump administration has acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the U.S. billions of dollars. (Source: Various Media, LEX 18, 25 Aug., 2018) Contact: EPA, Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_R._Wheeler

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Clean Coal,  Clean Power Plan,  Trump,  


    Xcel Undeterred in Carbon Emissions Goals (Ind. Report)
    Xcel Energy
    Date: 2018-08-27
    Further to our June 8th coverage, Minneapolis-headquartered Xcel Energy notes it remains committed to its carbon emissions goals and creating clean energy for its customers despite the Trump administration's reversal of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan coal pollution rules.

    The new EPA Affordable Clean Energy Rule proposal would give states leeway on whether to limit emissions and by how much and allow older power plants to operate longer.

    Xcel has coal plant operations in Becker, Minn. It has three units working and one united scheduled to be retired in 2023 and another in 2026.

    Since 2005 Xcel has reduced carbon emissions 33 pct in the Upper Midwest -- a level that is ahead of the former U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement. Xcel projects a 50 pct reduction in emissions by 2022. The company's current Upper Midwest energy mix is 58 pct carbon free -- 29 pct nuclear, 18 pct wind, 10 pct other renewables and 1 percent solar. The remaining mix is 30 pct coal and 12 pct natural gas. the company notes. By 2022, Xcel projects the Upper Midwest numbers to be 76 pct carbon free. (Source: Xcel Energy, 24 Aug., 2018) Contact: Xcel Energy, Frank Prager, VP Policy and Federal Affairs, www.xcelenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Xcel Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  


    MD Green Bank Expedites Renewables, Efficiency Loans (Ind. Report)
    Montgomery County Green Bank
    Date: 2018-03-19
    In Toskville, Maryland, the Montgomery County Green Bank, in partnership with Revere Bank and Ascentium Capital LLC, reports the availability of its Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER). The CLEER program aims to bridge the financing gap for energy efficiency, solar PV, and energy storage projects in office, retail, light industrial and multifamily rental properties that are not currently covered by existing programs.

    Under the CLEER program, Montgomery County Green Bank lists eligible contractors, businesses use these contractors to define energy savings scopes of work and Revere Bank and Ascentium Capital provide loans to businesses to finance the eligible scopes of work. The borrowing businesses are considered approved based on credit with loan terms set to match the expected energy savings. Montgomery County Green Bank also provides overall program oversight to ensure the success of the program and track progress towards greenhouse gas reduction goals.

    The CLEER program works in a complementary manner with the Pepco program and builds on its offerings. The CLEER program is primarily funded by proceeds from the merger of Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings Inc. Montgomery County's support for the merger has resulted in over $41 million to the County to create programs benefiting Pepco customers.

    Montgomery County Green Bank is a publicly-chartered nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating affordable clean energy and energy efficiency investment in Montgomery County, MD. It is also the nation's first county-level green bank. In support of the County's goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Montgomery County Green Bank partners with the private sector to build a more inclusively prosperous, resilient, sustainable, and healthy community by providing affordable financing options for projects that private investors may not currently be able or willing to finance alone. (Source: Montgomery County Green Bank, PR, 14 Mar., 2018) Contact: Montgomery County Green Bank, Tom Deyo, CEO, www.mcgreenbank.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  

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