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Biden Takes a Stand on Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Climate Change
Date: 2020-07-31
The 2020 US Democratic presidential presumptive candidate Joe Biden's campaign has released the following position on clean energy and climate change:

  • Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035.

  • Wind and solar energy will be increased dramatically through the installation of 500 million solar panels and 60,000 made-in-America wind turbines.

  • Any clean energy infrastructure financed with federal support "through the tax code" should include robust wage and labor requirements.

  • Fossil fuel subsidies will be repealed.

  • California's primacy in Clean Air Act regulation of cars and trucks will be recognized and protected.

  • Oil and gas methane pollution will be reduced by the application of "robust" federal standards and targeted support for repairing and replacing aging distribution systems.

  • By 2030, all new buildings will achieve the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Within five years, the Democrats will "incentivize" tens of billions of dollars in private-sector investments to retrofit the energy efficiency of four million buildings.

  • The country's entire fleet of school buses will transition to zero-emission buses to reduce harmful air pollution within five years.

  • The US will rejoin the the Paris Climate Agreement. A new Executive Order should be issued on climate and environmental Justice. There will be a strong emphasis on building environmental justice governmental institutions and practices. An environmental justice fund will be created to make "historic investments" in low-income communities, and remediating Superfund and other contaminated sites will address other issues afflicting these communities. Democrats will employ screening and mapping tools to ensure racial and socio-economic equity in federal climate, energy and infrastructure programs.

  • Fossil fuel companies will be held accountable for cleaning up abandoned mine lands ,oil and gas wells and industrial facilities so they can be safely "repurposed," especially in the coal country.

  • Innovative technologies will be advanced that create cost-effective pathways for industries to decarbonize, including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and "advanced nuclear" that eliminates risks associated with conventional nuclear technology.

  • America's natural carbon sinks on public lands will be increased by ensuring 30 percent of our lands and waters are conserved by 2030.

  • A new "climate test" will be applied to ensure that all major domestic and international infrastructure projects that require federal approval will avoid or minimize climate impacts, including impacts from export terminals.

  • The Federal Government should be reorganized by transforming the CEQ into a Council on Climate Change; establish a new office of Environmental Justice within the Department of Justice; create an Office of Climate Mobilization in the White House; establish a White House Council on frontline Environmental Justice where community and national leaders would inform the design and execution of climate change laws, policies and programs.

    Editor's Note: To ensure unbiased and equal coverage to all candidates , this publication will provide detailed coverage of the incumbent Republican Donald Trump's position on clean energy and climate change if and when his position paper is released.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Clean Energy,  


  • Growth Energy Suggests Ethanol to Address PM Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Growth Energy
    Date: 2020-07-06
    In comments addressed to the US EPA, Growth Energy Senior VP of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley noted: "Through multiple rulemakings at EPA over the last decade including those on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and the Tier 3 fuel regulation, Growth Energy has submitted a wealth of data to further support the conclusion that ethanol decreases harmful particulate emissions. We think this is a critical opportunity for the agency to review this data as it reviews the Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

    The NAAQS are limits on atmospheric concentration of six pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and other health hazards. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under authority of the Clean Air Act, NAAQS is applied for outdoor air nationwide.

    Growth Energy's letter to the EPA reiterates its May comments urging the EPA Science Advisory Board to examine the impact of toxic gasoline additives on respiratory health, as well as the potential benefits offered by bio-based alternatives like ethanol. (Source: Growth Energy, 2 July, 2020) Contact: Growth Energy, Chris Bliley, (202) 545-4000, www.growthenergy.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Growth Energy,  Ethanol,  


    States Challenging Trump's Clean Car Standard Rollback (Ind. Report)
    Clean Air Act
    Date: 2020-06-03
    In Sacramento, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a multistate coalition, has filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration's disastrous final rule rolling back the nation's Clean Car Standards requiring appropriate and feasible improvements in fuel economy and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks.

    The Trump Administration's "misguided" Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) rule stops Clean Car Standards progress in its tracks, despite the fact that the auto industry was currently on track to meet or exceed the Clean Car Standards, according to the release.

    The coalition will argue the Trump administration's rule unlawfully violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and that the Trump Administration's rollback of the nation's Clean Cars Standards is unlawful because, among other things, the EPA and NHTSA's rollbacks violate the statutory text and congressional mandates they are bound by; and the EPA and NHTSA improperly and unlawfully relied on an analysis riddled with errors, omissions, and unfounded assumptions in an attempt to justify their desired result.

    In filing the lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra is joined by the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The California Air Resources Board, the Cities of Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Denver, and the Counties of San Francisco and Denver also joined the coalition in filing the lawsuit. (Source: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, PR, 27 May, 2020) Contact: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Vehicle Enissions,  Mibile Emissions,  Clean Air Act,  


    Trump Urged to Reject Waiver Requests (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    EPA,Renewable Fuel Standard
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the nation's capitol, a bipartisan group of 24 U.S. senators -- including Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tina Smith(D-Minn) Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) have written the following to the White House:

    "We are writing to urge you to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and immediately reject the requests for a waiver of the RFS under Section 211(o)(7) of the Clean Air Act recently received by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) from five state governors.

    "Across our states, biofuels lower fuel prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the new energy economy, many of which are in rural areas, provide an important market for farmers, cut our reliance on foreign oil, reduce emissions and harmful air pollutants, and provide critical inputs to our food supply.

    "Our nation is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, with the impacts being felt across all of society. Waiving the RFS would cause further harm to the U.S.economy, especially our most vulnerable rural communities. It would also exacerbate the effects experienced by the biofuel sector as a result of COVID-19, causing far-reaching detrimental impacts on employment, farmers, food security, fuel prices, and the environment. The resiliency of America's renewable fuel industry has already suffered as a result of the EPA's drastic expansion of the small refinery waiver program in recent years.

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security identified the biofuels sector as an essential critical infrastructure workforce during the COVID-19 response. However, as motor fuel demand has plummeted, prices have slumped to record lows and producers are suffering heavy losses. At this point more than 70 ethanol facilities with an annual production capacity of 6.1 billion gallons have been fully idled, and approximately 70 more plants have reduced their operating rates by a combined amount of 1.9 billion gallons annualized. At least 46 pct of the ethanol industry's total production capacity is now idled, and eight biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities remain offline. Highly-skilled jobs across the country are being lost at an alarming rate.

    "Biofuel plant closures have ripple effects through the U.S. economy. Farm income is directly linked to the health of the renewable fuel industry. Plant shutdowns are causing commercial CO2 supply shortages and inhibiting the ability of meat packers and other food sectors to refrigerate, preserve,and supply food and beverages at current, affordable rates. Ethanol plants also produce low cost, high-protein animal feed (distillers grains). Supply shortages as a result of biofuel plant closures are impacting livestock feed procurement, rations, and prices. Biodiesel producers provide value to surplus and waste oils, fats and greases from food, feed and other biofuel production. Without the biodiesel industry, excess feedstocks will clog the supply chain, causing livestock producers to potentially raise prices for consumers. Removing biofuels from gasoline and diesel will also lead to an increase of greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter, and toxics-causing degradation to our air quality.

    "Recent requests for a waiver of the RFS are unjustified and clearly do not satisfy the rigorous requirements necessary for EPA consideration. RFS waivers can only be granted by EPA if there is a demonstration of 'severe harm' to the economy or environment of a state, region or the United States that is directly caused by the RFS. None of these standards are met today and the following reasons clearly demonstrate the case for rejecting the waiver requests:

  • Challenging market conditions in the oil sector are the directresult of oversupply from international competitors combined with falling gasoline, diesel and jet fuel demand as a result of the COVID-19, not the RFS.

  • The RFS already accommodates demand reductions and provides flexibility to reflect the reality of motor fuel demand. EPA translates the annual RFS requirements into a percentage share of gasoline and diesel. Thus, the existing structure of the RFS regulations already results in an oil refiner's renewable volume obligations being proportionally reduced if overall motor fuel demand drops over the year

  • EPA has repeatedly found that RIN prices do not negatively impact refiners, a position reinforced by the 10th Circuit court in January 200. In addition, a record-large supply of RINs is available to refiners today, largely as a consequence of EPA's abusive expansion of the small refinery exemption program, so the threat of high RIN prices is currently non-existent.

    "We urge you to direct the EPA to reject all calls to waive the RFS. The RFS is more important now than ever as farmers, the biofuel sector, and rural America struggle to remain operational during the COVID-19 crisis." (Source: US Senate, 8 May, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Renewable Fuel Standard,  "Hardship" Waiver,  


  • UCLA Studies Post Pandemic Emissions Possibilities (Ind. Report)
    UCLA
    Date: 2020-05-11
    In the Golden State, a team of University of California- Los Angeles (USCLA) is reporting the state can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and thus prevent thousands of deaths annually.

    The researchers note that since millions of Californians began staying at home and off the roads in March, air quality in the Golden State has visibly improved but that once life returns to normal, air pollution levels will likely, but need not return to pre-pandemic levels.

    In a peer-reviewed study published May 4 the researchers describe a pathway for California to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that taken together would prevent about 14,000 premature deaths from air pollution–related illnesses each year and help reduce climate change by 2050. In addition to the finding that approximately 14,000 premature deaths per year could be avoided in California by 2050, achieving net-zero emissions could also: reduce acute respiratory symptoms in 8.4 million adults; cut asthma exacerbation in 1 million children; decrease the number of lost work days by 1.4 million; and cut cardiovascular hospital admissions by 4,500 per.

    The reports notes that while all communities would benefit, the state's top 25 pct most-polluted census tracts would receive approximately 35 pct of the health benefits resulting from the projected improvements in air quality.

    The study also notes that unlike with the current COVID-19 crisis, achieving net-zero emissions post-pandemic would benefit the economy. By 2050, the monetary savings of greenhouse gas reductions will exceed the annual health care cost by $109 billion a year.. The study's authors intend their research to help state and local policymakers take bold action on climate change. This study was partially funded by the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a university-wide initiative aimed at applying UCLA expertise and research to transform Los Angeles into the most sustainable megacity by 2050. (Source: UCLA FSPH, Lauren Miura, 4 May, 2020) Contact: UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering , www.jifresse.ucla.edu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News UCLA,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air,  


    Trump Admin. Continues to Weaken Climate Change Laws Amid Pandemic (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-04-27
    "Most American are probably unaware of how aggressively the Trump administration is rolling back environmental laws. Just recently, the administration implemented a far-reaching climate change rollback that dismantled an Obama-era clean air standard. Unfortunately, that rollback, as well as other rollbacks, have received little media attention -- and understandably so -- because most news outlets are preoccupied with Covid-19.

    "However, this pandemic does not provide decision makers with a license to haphazardly reverse decades of environmental progress and climate change laws. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening as the administration is seemingly using the pandemic as a 'red herring' to gut numerous laws. This misguided attempt to undermine climate change policy is particularly troublesome especially when considering that 64 pct of Americans believe climate change is a serious threat and/or a crisis.

    "Surfrider believes it is unconscionable to gut environmental laws while most Americans are deeply concerned about the global pandemic and will be less likely to engage in civics. Not only are these rollbacks underhanded, but they contribute more air and water pollution which will impact residents with health conditions, making them more susceptible to Covid-19. A new Harvard study found that air pollution can be significantly linked to higher rates of death in people with Covid-19.

    "It should be noted that some rollbacks were proposed prior to Covid-19, and are part of a broader pattern of environmental deregulation under the Trump administration. Yet, the most recent rollback is particularly troubling because it dramatically weakens vehicle emissions standards that were hard-fought over the past decade. Another attempt to undermined climate change efforts came when the administration proposed to revoke California's authority's to set higher air quality standards than the federal government. Of course, California promptly sued and the case is making its way through the courts.

    "The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a paramount environmental law that mandates climate change review, has also become another target. The Trump administration brazenly proposed a rule that climate change impacts should not be considered under NEPA. The proposal has met significant opposition in Congress where a Democrat and Republican co-authored a bipartisan sign on letter opposing the administration's plan. Moreover, the courts have a long history of requiring government agencies and businesses to weigh climate change impacts during decision-making and implementing large projects.

    "Then there are oil and gas production rollbacks. For years, the DoI has drastically weakened offshore drilling safety regulations. To add insult to injury, the administration launched a controversial plan to open up roughly 90 pct of U.S. waters to oil drilling, which Surfrider and our partners have helped stall. Most recently, the administration auctioned off 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil/gas producers despite cries to halt sales until after the pandemic.

    "Right now, our global community is experiencing two crises -- Covid-19 and climate change -- and we should be applying the same lessons to each crisis. While times have been challenging the past several weeks, there are positive lessons to embrace that relate to climate change:

  • Global society can work together to stave off 'worst case scenarios.' With sufficient leadership, we can take the necessary (albeit painful) collective steps to avoid catastrophe. A similar global response is needed to tackle climate change.

  • There is undeniable strength in science. At first, Covid-19 was framed as being no worse than the flu (some alluded it was a hoax). Once clear facts and science were embraced, the situation was taken more seriously.

  • A deeper appreciation for nature is emerging. Since people have been staying home, the great outdoors has never been so appealing.

  • The earth has appreciated the pause. Satellites images show air pollution over major worldwide cities has significantly dropped. In fact, in the northeast U.S. there was a 30 pct drop in pollution.

    Needless to say, it shouldn't take a global pandemic for us to make bold reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The threats posed by climate change have become abundantly clear and the solutions are right in front of us. Please join Surfrider in opposing environmental rollbacks and urging our government leaders to take bold action on climate change. (Source: Surfrider Foundation, Sefanie Sekich-Quinn, Blog, 23 April, 2020) Contact: Surfrider Foundation, Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager, ssekich@surfrider.org, www.surfrider.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


  • Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns (Int'l. Report Attached)
    European Space Agency,Visual Capatlist
    Date: 2020-03-23
    "There's a high chance you're reading this while practicing social distancing, or while your corner of the world is under some type of advised or enforced lockdown. While these are necessary measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, such economic interruption is unprecedented in many ways resulting in some surprising side effects.

    "Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, a major air pollutant, are closely linked to factory output and vehicles operating on the road. As both industry and transport come to a halt during this pandemic, NO2 emissions can be a good indicator of global economic activity -- and the changes are visible from space. These images from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), as well as satellite footage from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), show a drastic decline in NO₂ emissions over recent months, particularly across Italy and China."

    Download the Emissions Impact of Coronavirus Lockdowns images HERE. (Source: European Space Agency, Visual Capitalist, 21 Mar., 2020) Contact: European Space Agency, +33 1 53 69 76 54, www.esa.int

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Space Agency,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    "Listening to the Candidates Debate" Climate Change (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-03-04
    "Invest in sustainable, resilient infrastructure to meet the energy demands of the 21st century. Set aggressive sector-specific standards to rapidly decarbonize across every sector of our economy. Encourage our farmers to adopt climate-friendly sustainable agriculture practices. Conserve our public lands and make them part of the climate solution. Craft international economic policies that encourage countries around the world to reduce emissions." -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts since 2013 and former law school professor specializing in bankruptcy law.

    "Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States' leadership in the global fight against climate change. Transform our energy system to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis." -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, 16 years as Vermont's congress member in the House of Representatives.

    "Restore America's leadership in fighting the global climate crisis and propel the U.S. toward a 100 pct clean energy future while making environmental justice a national priority. Ensure 100 pct of new vehicles are pollution-free by 2035, 'green' our buildings and invest in projects to reduce and protect against climate impacts, including wildfires." -- Michael Bloomberg, NY business tycoon, philanthropist and three term mayor of New York City.

    "We must turbocharge our efforts to address climate change and ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and an environment free from pollutants. Reduce greenhouse emissions and speed the transition to low-carbon shipping aviation and electric cars." -- Joe Biden, Former senator from Delaware and two-term Vice President under President Barak Obama.

    The above talking points are sourced from each candidate's website. Each candidate's position is posted in no particular order of preference and no endorsement for any candidate is intended.

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  


    Notable Quotes -- Delays Threatens Carbon Capture Projects
    Clean Air Task Force
    Date: 2020-01-13
    "If you were to start a large power plant or steel plant (with carbon capture facilities) today after the rules came out, it would be almost impossible to reach commenced construction in that time frame. It's not that there aren't projects we think are going to go forward, but it's the larger projects. It takes about six years from the original concept to the design and the detailed engineering and permitting and then getting to final investment decision and starting construction." -- Kurt Waltzer, Managing Dir., Clean Air Task Force,discussing delays in construction of Carbon Capture facilities, Houston Chronicle, 13 Jan., 2020.

    Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a research and policy centre that combines technology innovation, policy advocacy, and thought leadership expertise to leverage workable solutions to the global climate crisis. Above all, CATF are practical climate problem solvers, according to its website. Contact: Clean Air Task Force, Kurt Waltzer, 617.624.0234, 617.624.0230 - fax, info@catf.usinfo@catf.us, www.catf.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Air Task Force,  Carbon Capture,  CCS,  


    Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act Released (Reg. & Leg. Report)
    Climate Change
    Date: 2020-01-10
    In the nation's capitol, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) has released the legislative framework of the draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for the (CLEAN) Future Act -- an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution and 100 pct clean energy no later than 2050. The draft bill incorporates both proven and novel concepts, presenting a set of policy proposals that will put the U.S. on the path to a clean and prosperous economy. Specific to carbon emissions and climate change, the draft legislation:
  • Directs all federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the country on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It does not stipulate which energy sources or strategies qualify, instead taking a technology-inclusive approach to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century. To ensure federal agencies' collective efforts remain on track, the draft legislation directs the EPA to evaluate each agency's plans, make recommendations and report on progress each year.

  • Empowers the states to complete the transition to a net-zero economy, based on the existing federalism model in the (Obama administration) Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net-zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050. States are then granted flexibility to develop plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their policy preferences, priorities and circumstances. Each state must submit a climate plan to EPA, which then reviews and approves or disapproves each plan.

  • Establishes a National Climate Bank to mobilize public and private investments in low- and zero-emissions energy technologies, climate resiliency, building efficiency and electrification, industrial decarbonization, grid modernization, agriculture projects, and clean transportation.

  • The draft legislation reduces transportation emissions, the largest source of GHG emissions, by improving vehicle efficiency, accelerating the transition to low- to zero-carbon fuels and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. The bill directs EPA to set new, increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including off-road modes of transportation. (Source: Office of Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Jan., 2020) Contact: Congressman Frank Pallone Jr , Chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee, (202) 225-4671 (202) 225-9665 - fax, https://pallone.house.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


  • Valero, AFPM Seek "Point of Obligation" Clarification (Reg & Leg)
    Valero Energy ,American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers
    Date: 2020-01-08
    San Antonio-headquartered Valero Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil processor by capacity, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers organization have filed a court petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the U.S. EPA is required to consider petitions to change the "point of obligation" under the Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard.

    The petition notes: "The Clean Air Act's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires EPA to undertake annual notice-and-comment rule making to determine a 'renewable fuel obligation' for the nation's transportation fuel supply. The first of three annual 'required elements' is to determine the point of obligation -- i.e., to ensure that the obligation shall be applicable to refineries, blenders, and importers, as appropriate. EPA admits that it initially placed the point of obligation on refineries and importers, but not blenders, for reasons of administrative convenience. EPA has repeatedly refused to re-examine that placement in annual rule making, and it denied petitions for rule making seeking reconsideration out-side the statutorily-mandated annual assessment."

    The petition specifically questions: whether the requirement that EPA "shall" make a "calendar year" determination of the "appropriate" point of obligation requires EPA to consider in each annual rule whether the point of obligation remains appropriate.The petition also questions whether EPA can evade the annual duty by partitioning the point of obligation into a one-time collateral proceeding that ignores key evidence,relies primarily on the agency's own convenience, and claims more deference from a reviewing court than an annual rule would receive. (Source: AFPM Website, Valero Energy, Ethanol Producer, 6 May, 2019) Contact: American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, www.afpm.org; Valero Renewable Fuels, Joe Gorder, Pres., (800) 324-8464, www.valero.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers ,  RFS,  Point of Obligation,  Valero Energy ,  


    Biofuels Coalition Challenges EPA's "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
    Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council,Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2019-10-25
    Previously this week in Washington, a coalition of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. EPA issue economic "hardship waivers" to over 30 small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations for 2018.

    The coalition's brief noted, "Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA's abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act. From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision." (Source: Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association , 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  U.S. Grains Council,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


    Calif. Governor Comments on White House Bullying (Notable Quote)
    Gavin Newsom
    Date: 2019-10-25
    "The White House has no interest in helping California comply with the Clean Air Act to improve the health and well-being of Californians. This letter is a threat of pure retaliation. While the White House tries to bully us and concoct new ways to make our air dirtier, California is defending our state's clean air laws from President Trump's attacks. We won't go back to the days when our air was the color of mud. We won't relive entire summers when spending time outside amounted to a public health risk. We won't be intimidated by this brazen political stunt." (Source: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 24 Oct., 2019) Contact: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom, www.gov.ca.gov;

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air Act,  California ARB,  


    Neste Lauded by East Bay Clean Cities Coalition (Ind. Report)
    Neste,East Bay Clean Cities Coalition
    Date: 2019-10-18
    In the Golden State, the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition in California, US has awarded its 2019 Clean Air Champion Award to renewable diesel producer Neste for its "exemplary work with renewable fuels and focus on sustainability as a core part of your (its) mission and operations."

    Neste supplies its "drop-in" Neste MY Renewable Diesel to 17 cities in the East Bay area, and other west coast areas.

    The East Bay Clean Cities Coalition (Oakland) works with vehicle fleets, fuel providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to save energy and promote the use of domestic alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in transportation. (Source: East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, PR, 16 Oct., 2019) Contact: East Bay Clean Cities Coalition, www.cleancitieseastbay.org; Neste, +358 10 458 4128, (713) 407-4400 - Houston, Texas office, www.neste.us www.neste.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Neste,  Clean Cities,  Renewable Diesel,  


    Puget Sound Proposes Aggressive Clean Fuel Standard (Ind. Report)
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
    Date: 2019-10-18
    The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in Seattle reports it has drafted a regional clean fuel standard aimed at reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 26 pct by 2030. The rule is in the public comment process and is expected to be finalized no sooner than February, 2020.

    Transportation emissions reportedly account for roughly 40 pct of the region's emissions. (Source: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Public News Service, 17 Oct., 2019) Contact: Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Craig Kenworthy, Exec. Dir., 206-343-8800, 206-343-7522, www.pscleanair.org/528/Clean-Fuel-Standard

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Puget Sound Clean Air Agency,  Renewable Fuel,  


    Senators Want Ag Sec. Out of RFS "Hardship Waiver" Decision Process (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    RFS
    Date: 2019-07-03
    Following up on our June 12 coverage, DTN Progressive Farmer is reporting thirteen Republican senators from oil-producing states are calling for President Trump to keep Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue out of EPA Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) small refinery "hardship waiver" decision-making process which the Senators claim the Agriculture Secretary has no authority. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA administrator decides, after consulting with the Energy secretary, which refiners receive or are denied a hardship waiver, the Senators note.

    "We strongly oppose giving the Secretary (Perdue) any role in the decision-making process over the petitions. We would view any decisions to further delay, reduce, or deny hardship relief to small refineries, or reallocate the obligations of small refineries to other refineries, as the result of the Secretary of Agriculture's impermissible interference. We are confident that others, including the federal courts, would do the same," the thirteen Senators wrote.

    The small-refinery exemptions have reduced ethanol use by about 2.6 billion gallons, and 38 refiners are waiting for EPA to decide on new exemptions.

    Senators writing the letter included Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as senators representing Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct (Source: Various Media, DTN, Progressive Farmer, July, 2019) Contact: Office of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue,(202) 720-2791, feedback@oc.usda.gov, www.usda.gov/contact-us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hardship Waiver,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Blend,  RFA,  Sonny Perdue,  


    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,  


    Senators Call for RFS "Hardship Waiver" Halt (Reg. & Leg.)
    RFS,"Hardship Wsivers"
    Date: 2019-06-12
    Last week in Washington, a dozen Democrattic US Senators wrote to the Trump Administration appointed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler advising that the small refiner "hardship waiver" provision was NOT intended to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Accordingly, the Senators added,

    "We request that you cease issuing any further small refinery exemptions, immediately reallocate the remaining gallons, and make public the information regarding any recipients of these exemptions

    "We are extremely concerned about the EPA's recent actions to continue to improperly grant small refinery hardship waivers under the RFS. EPA's continued manipulation and misuse of the small refiner waiver authority is undermining the integrity of the RFS and disadvantaging farmers. Rather than follow congressional intent in the RFS and follow through on the promises made to rural America, the EPA and the (Trump) Administration are providing waivers, in secret, to help some of the largest oil companies and refiners evade their compliance obligations under the Clean Air Act.

    The letter's signatories included Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

    As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. In 2017, the number of small refineries filing for exemptions retroactively for 2016 jumped from 14 the previous year to 20. The rate in which EPA granted these petitions also increased dramatically from 53 pct to 95 pct. (Source: Farm Journal, Various Media, AgPro, 11 June, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Blend,  RFS,  "Hardship Waivers" ,  Andrew Wheeler,  


    EPA Now Allows E15 Ethanol Blend Summer Sales (Reg & Leg Report)
    EPA
    Date: 2019-06-03
    Today in Washington, the US EPA announced the ending a summertime ban on the E15 blend imposed out of concerns for increased smog from the higher ethanol blend. Until the change, the only ethanol blend fuel typically found in summer months was a 10 pct (E10) ethanol blend . The move may well be challenged by environmental groups on the grounds that the U.S. Clean Air Act disallows year-round E15 sales over smog and air quality concerns.

    The change removes a barrier to wider sales of E15 and is expected to expand the market for ethanol -- although immediate effects on the market are expected to be minimal since only about 1,000 to 1,500 of more than 150,000 U.S. gas stations currently sell the higher-ethanol blend, according to the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. (Source: EPA, PBS New, 31 May, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E15 news,  Ethanol Blend news,  


    Ohio Clean Air Energy Bill Disqualifies Wind, Solar (Reg. & Leg.)
    Renewable Energy
    Date: 2019-05-24
    In Columbus, the republican-dominated Ohio State House of Representatives has announced changes to a comprehensive energy bill that would bailout the state's nuclear power plants and repeal alternative energy mandates disqualifying wind and solar power from Clean Air Credits. The elimination of wind and solar leaves nuclear power as the only beneficiary of the Clean Air Credits program.

    The bill also allows utilities to charge ratepayers a fee to cover subsidies for Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) and its two coal plants. The charge to residential ratepayers was cut from $2.50 to $1 a month, reducing the money for credits from $300 million to about $190 million. (Source: Cincinnati Public Radio, Statehouse News Bureau, 22 May, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Wind,  Solar,  


    O'Rourke Floats Climate Proposal (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Beto O'Rourke
    Date: 2019-05-01
    2020 Dem. presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has released what he's calling "the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States and the most comprehensive climate policy proposal put out by any 2020 contender to date."

    O'Rourke's proposal calls for halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 through a program of: executive action; a $5 trillion over 10 years investment in a clean energy transition; and preparing vulnerable communities for the impacts of climate change.

    Although the plan is focused on climate and energy -- cutting emissions and creating alternatives -- approximately $3.5 trillion is allocated through tax incentives, loans, and other financing mechanisms for infrastructure, research, resilience, and clean energy deployment. The outlay would be funded by "structural changes to the tax code" that end tax breaks to fossil fuel companies and raise rates on corporations and top earners. Of the remaing $1.5 trillion, $1.2 trillion would go to grants for sustainable housing, transportation, public health, farming, and start-ups.

    As opposed to a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, O'Rourke is advocating a legally-binding net-zero emissions standard by 2050. The plan doesn't rule out pricing carbon but instead focuses on setting definitive goal posts. If elected, O'Rourke noted will re-enter the Paris climate agreement, implement rules to cut methane and other "super-potent" GHG emissions, tighten clean air rules, ramp up appliance efficiency standards, demand clean energy procurement from federal contractors, and end new fossil fuel leases on public lands. (Source: Vox, Various Media, 30 April, 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Tax,  Methane,  Clean Air,  


    Where's Trump's Former EPA Head Scott Pruitt? (Ind. Report)
    Coal,EPA
    Date: 2019-04-24
    Denver-headquartered Hallador Energy Company, a subsidiary of RailPoint Solutions LLC and Sunrise Coal, reports it has hired former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt to lobby against plans by two electric utilities -- Vectren and NIPSCO -- to shutter aging coal-fired power generation facilities in Indiana by 2030.

    Hallador and Pruitt are urging the Indiana republican controlled legislature to include language in the budget bill that would prohibit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from considering Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the commission's decisions about rates and other issues that could impact the future of coal-generated electricity in the state.

    Hallador claims Obama clean air regulations are the reason coal costs more than wind, solar and natural gas. They also claim that once President Trump and current EPA head and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler are finished gutting the Obama clean air regulations, the price of coal will drop. According to U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) US coal consumption has plummeted to its lowest levels in nearly 40 years and more coal-fired power plants closed in the first two years of the Trump administration than during President Obama's entire first term.

    As readers may recall, Pruitt resigned from the EPA in July 2018 after an 18-month tenure best remembered for the seemingly mass handout of Renewable Fuel Standard "hardship" waivers to refineries, spending and ethical scandals. As previously noted, "hardship waivers" were intended for refineries producing 75,000 bpd or less and suffered "disproportionate economic hardship" from the costs of RFS compliance. The waiver frees the refineries from an obligation to provide the EPA with biofuels credits proving compliance. (Source: Hallador Energy Company, The Environmental Working Group, 23 April, 20190 Contact: Hallador Energy Company, (303) 839-5504, www.halladorenergy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Scott Pruitt,  Coal,  


    California ARB Reports Cap-and Trade Cash Investments (Funding)
    California Air Resources Board
    Date: 2019-03-29
    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just released its annual report analyzing last year's investments made from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF.) The fund receives money from the state cap-and-trade program, which caps greenhouse gas emissions and auctions off "pollution credits" to industries.

    In 2018, the GGRF invested $1.4 billion in various projects to reduce the effects of climate change in California communities. That was about double the amount spent in 2017. Since the program began in 2012, it has invested $3.4 billion in projects that are either completed or under way, with a total of $9.3 billion in the pipeline.

    CARB estimates that the investments will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 37 million metric tons, about what would be produced by burning four billion gallons of diesel fuel, or "roughly equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road for a year." Cumulatively, last year's investments in energy efficiency are expected to save enough energy to power 15,000 homes for a year.

    The report estimates GGRF investments are reducing greenhouse gas emissions at an average cost of about $75 per metric ton. The report lists details on how much has been invested in each GGRF program and highlights examples of what those investments are. Many are being built, but many more are in some planning stage and their full effect will not be felt for a number of years. For example, GGRF investments in the clean transportation sector include:

  • Community clean air grants, which help communities identify and evaluate air pollution sources;
  • Several programs for replacing polluting vehicles, including agricultural and freight vehicles and buses, and a program to replace rural school buses with electric vehicles;
  • Clean mobility options such as electric car-share, bike-share, and vanpool options in disadvantaged communities or for agricultural workers;
  • Support for transit including high-speed rail and the Intercity Rail Capital Program, which is helping transit and rail agencies modernize and update their systems and equipment;
  • The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program that funds interconnected transportation and housing projects to reduce car use.

    Cumlative Project Outcomes include: 10,000 home energy efficiency projects; 3,200 affordable housing units under contract; 500,000 acres of land preserved of restored; 50,000 trees planted in urban areas; 343,000 individual projects funded; 462 transit agency projects funded; and 67 pct of funding for projects benefitting priority communities ($1.5 billion)

    Download the California Air Resources Board Greenhouse Gas Fund expeditures report HERE. (Source: CARB, StreetsBlog, 27 Mar., 2019) Contact: California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov; CARB California Climate Investments, (800) 757-2907, info@caclimateinvestments.ca.gov, www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  California Cap-and-Trade,  


  • SCAQMD Awards $47Mn for Cleaner Technologies, Fuels (Funding)
    South Coast Air Quality Management District
    Date: 2019-01-07
    In the Golden State, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) reports it has awarded $47.4 million to 26 businesses, organizations, universities, government agencies and utility companies in the South Coast Basin and Coachella Valley to help them purchase and upgrade their equipment with cleaner flues and energy efficient technologies.

    Under the federal Clean Air Act, the SCAQMD service region must meet the 1-hour ozone, 8-hour ozone, 24-hour PM2.5, and annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards within the next 12 years.

    Established in 1976, the Diamond Bar-based SCAQMD is responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin, in Southern California. (Source: SCAQMD, Sentinel News Service, 4 Jan., 2019) Contact: SCAQMD, Wayne Nastri, CEO, (909)396-2000, www.aqmd.gov/home/rules-compliance/rules

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel,  Air Quality,  Clean Air,  SCAQMD,  South Coast Air Quality Management District,  


    Notable Quote -- Trump Dumps on National Climate Assessment Report
    Trump
    Date: 2018-11-28
    "No, no, I don't believe it. You're going to have to have China and Japan and all of Asia and all of these other countries, you know. It addresses our country.

    "Right now, we're at the cleanest we've ever been. And that's very important to me. But if we're clean, but every other place on Earth is dirty, that's not so good. So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important." -- U.S. President Donald Trump commenting on the just released National Climate Assessment of which he acknowledged only reading "some" and that it was "fine."

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Climate Assessment,  Trump,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Notable Presidential Quotes
    Trump
    Date: 2018-10-19
    "I am truly an environmentalist. (I have) a natural instinct for science."

    "I want the cleanest air on the planet and our air now is cleaner than it's ever been." -- U.S. President Donald Trump, 17 Oct, 2018 in an interview with the AP

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Trump.Clean Air,  Climate Change,  


    Denmark's Greener Future Green Proposals Touted (Int'l Report)
    Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate
    Date: 2018-10-12
    In Copenhagen, the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate is touting the country's Together for a Greener Future project and its aim of securing a net-zero impact on the climate by 2050.

    The Together for a Greener Future project proposes 38 initiatives, including having a climate- and environmentally-efficient agricultural sector and a "behavioural campaign" with climate labeling on a wide range of products including food. To that end, the project proposes manufacturers and supermarkets label products that rate their impact on the environment and climate. In other areas, the project calls for phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars; having zero carbon emissions and zero air pollution from buses in cities; clean air in big cities through stricter environmental zones; lower emissions from industry and housing; and research efforts to develop carbon capture and storage technologies for use in Denmark's fields and forests, all by the year 2030. (Source: Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Just Food, 10 Oct., 2018) Contact: Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, Minister, +45 33922800, https://stateofgreen.com/en/partners/danish-ministry-of-energy-utilities-and-climate

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    Trump Admin. Expected to Change E15 Biofuel Rules (Reg & Leg)
    E15,Trump
    Date: 2018-10-10
    It is being widely reported that U.S. Pres. Donald Trump will order acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to lift the Renewable Fuel Standard summertime ban on the sale of E15 and thus help limit market speculation in biofuel credits.

    E15 sales are currently blocked from the beginning of June through the middle of September because the fuel blend does not meet ozone standards spelled out in the Clean Air Act.

    It is even more widely speculated that Trump's move is focused on stroking his biofuels and farm belt base before for the November mid-term elections. (Source: CNBC, Various Media, 8 Oct., 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E15,  Trump,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


    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 ,  


  • Trump Dumps Obama Era Clean Air Act (Reg & Leg)
    Clean Power Plan
    Date: 2018-08-22
    It is being widely reported that acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has signed a proposal calling for individual states to regulate power plant emissions, unlike the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan that made the regulation of power plant emissions a federal responsibility.

    The new EPA proposal, which is projected to release 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared with Obama's Clean Power Plan, flies in the face of the 2015 Clean Power Plan requiring states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards based on their individual energy production and consumption.

    Obama's plan was challenged as "unconstitutional" and outside the federal government's power to regulate. (Source: Various Media, WSJ, Various Media, 21 Aug., 2018)

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


    NCGA Comments of EPA RFS Proposals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    National Corn Growers Association
    Date: 2018-08-20
    On Friday, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) submitted the following unsolicited comments to the EPA on the proposed rule for the 2019 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

    In the proposed rule, the EPA granted retroactive "hardship" exemptions to 48 refineries for 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, amounting to 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. Through this proposed rule, EPA has the tools to ensure retroactive exemptions do not further reduce volumes.

    "While EPA may not want feedback on how the agency is failing to maintain the integrity of the RFS and administer the volume standards in accordance with the law, corn farmers will provide that feedback nonetheless and make our voices heard. The process for accounting for these volumes is central to the integrity of the RFS, and it is offensive to farmers that EPA does not believe our comments on this issue are worth soliciting and considering.

    "To uphold the full clean air, cost-savings, energy independence, and rural economic benefits consumers and farmers receive from the RFS, EPA must also use the 2019 volume rule to make and keep the RFS whole.

    "Maintaining an implied volume for conventional renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons, consistent with the statutory target for 2019 and the proposed rule, provides a firm base of support for ethanol production and corn prices. A strong RFS is a market-based solution for sustaining the agriculture economy," the comments state. (Source: NCGA, Wisconsin State Farmer, 17 Aug., 2018) Contact: National Corn Growers Association, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  RFS,  Biofuel,  


    EPA Report Notes Ethanol Environmental Damage (Ind. Report)
    Ethanol,Clean Air Task Force
    Date: 2018-08-03
    According to a recent, federally-mandated EPA assessment of the environmental impact of corn and soybean based ethanol production, ethanol is creating several ill effects on the enviroment and wildlife habitat.

    The EPA report documents millions of acres of wildlife habitat lost to ethanol crop production, increased nutrient pollution in waterways and air emissions and side effects worse than the gasoline the ethanol is replacing. According to Johnathan Lewis, senior counsel for climate policy with the Clean Air Task Force, ethanol from corn in particular is linked to increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) which contributes to and increases ozone formation.

    In March, the Growing Renewable Energy through Existing and New Environmentally Responsible (GREENER) Fuels Act to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was introduced to the US Senate and Congress. The GREENER Fuels Act sets out a clear goal of moving U.S. mandates away from a heavy reliance on food-based -- corn -- biofuels that have been linked to food price spikes and large-scale environmental contamination in the United States and around the world. (Source: EPA, Public News Service - NY, Aug., 2018) Contact: Clean Air Task Force, www.catf.us

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol,  EPA,  RFS,  Clean Air Task Force,  


    Notable Quote Worth Noting

    Date: 2018-08-03
    "So President Trump, I know you really want to be an action hero, right? So take it from the Terminator, you're only supposed to go back in time to protect future generations. But your administration attempts to go back in time to rescue the coal industry, which is actually a threat to future generations."

    "For 48 years -- since one of my heroes, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, requested it -- California has had a waiver from the federal government to clean our own air. If the President (Trump) thinks he can win this fight, he's out of his mind." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2003-211 California Governor (D) , commenting on Trump's proposed withdrawal of California's Clean Air Act pre-emption waiver. California and about a dozen states follow its rules account for about a third of all the passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. August 1, 2018


    Notable Quotes Worth Noting

    Date: 2018-07-25
    "To the Trump administration -- make no mistake about it -- we are ready to use every legal tool at our disposal to protect the current vehicle emission standards. The stakes are high for our families' health, the environment, and our economic prosperity." -- Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General responding to reports the Trump administration will propose stripping California's Clean Air Act waiver and authority to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions. Contact:Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General oag.ca.gov.

    "(If the Trump administration revokes California's Clean Air Act waiver) there is no question that California will immediately sue. I suspect that California has had a draft suit in its back pocket since the Trump administration began signaling that it might travel this route a few months ago. The lawsuit would further put automakers in regulatory limbo, possibly for years, while the Trump administration battles California in court." -- Belynda Reck, a Reed Smith environmental and products liability law. Contact: Reed Smith, www.reedsmith.com. (Source: Recorder, Various Other Media, 23 July, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG Emissions,  


    Trump Plans Assault on Obama-Era Emissions Standards (Reg & Leg)
    Emissions,Vehicle Emissions
    Date: 2018-07-25
    It is being widely reported by Bloomberg and other media that the Trump administration may attempt to revoke California's authority for setting its own greenhouse gas rules and other Obama-era vehicle emissions standards separate to federal emissions standards.

    During the Obama administration, California aligned its standards with wider federal standards in a bid to ease compliance requirements for automakers.

    According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration plans to dilute future emissions standards proposed by Obama by capping federal fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level of at least 35-mile-per-gallon for manufacturers' fleet average, rather than letting them rise to around 50 mpg by 2025 as currently planned.

    The 2009 Clean Air Act waiver allows California to set its own standards for greenhouse emissions and builds on a long-standing right the state enjoyed to set its own vehicle emissions standards in response to the smog that afflicted some areas of the state in the 1970s and 80s. (Source: Business Green, Bloomberg, Others, July, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  Clean Air Act,  Transportation Emissions,  


    States Act Against EPA Over Landfill Methane Rules Delays (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    Methane, EPA
    Date: 2018-06-13
    The AGs from eight states plus the Pennsylvania DEP have together filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the US EPA for its alleged failure to implement the Obama administration's 2016 municipal landfill emissions guidelines in accordance with the timeline mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    The complaints are asking the court to issue a mandatory injunction compelling the EPA to implement and enforce the emissions guidelines without further delay.

    The guidelines for existing landfills and the jointly issued New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) were revised primarily to control methane emissions that contribute to climate change.

    The EPA estimated that the two rules will reduce methane emissions by approximately 330,000 metric tons -- with a global warming potential equivalent to 8.2 million metric tpy of CO2 by 2025. That is roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 1.8 million cars on the road. (Source: Various Media, EPA, EHS Daily Advisor, 12 June, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  GHGs,  Emissions,  EPA,  Landfill Gas,  


    Rocky Mountain Power Seeking Renewables Project Bids (Ind. Report)
    Rocky Mountain Power
    Date: 2018-06-06
    Salt Lake City-headquartered Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), a unit of Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, reports it is seeking bids for new solar, wind and geothermal projects in Utah as part of an effort to increase renewable power generation on the PacifiCorp system.

    The company is seeking proposals for 308,000 MWh of power generation -- approximately 40 MW of geothermal capacity or approximately 100 to 126 MW of wind or solar capacity -- sufficient power for about 34,000 typical Utah homes.

    Customers sponsoring the request for proposal include Park City, Salt Lake City, Summit County, Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and Utah Valley University, which are all working with Rocky Mountain Power to meet their clean air and sustainability goals through renewable energy. (Source: Rocky Mountain Power, Sun Advocate, 4 June, 2018)Contact: Rocky Mountain Power, Rita Meyer, VP, (800) 222-4335, www.rockymountainpower.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rocky Mountain Power,  Renewable Energy,  


    London Mayor Planning Zero-Emission Zones by 2020 (Int'l)
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan
    Date: 2018-05-21
    In the UK, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is reportedly calling for the introduction of zero-emission zones in some parts of the capital from 2020 as part of a long-term vision of a carbon neutral city by 2050. In his Environment Strategy, the mayor calls for the city to adopt clean air policies, electric vehicle, an increase in London's current solar capacity to 1GW by 2030 and 2GW by 2050.

    The strategy includes a proposal on carbon budgets, aimed at reducing London's greenhouse gas emissions -- a 40 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels in 2018-2022, which is in line with with the Paris climate agreement to limit global climate change to 1.5 degrees. In addition, the mayor will fund thousands more trees and improvements to community green spaces. Since assuming the mayor's chair, Khan has directly funded the planting of over 70,000 trees and committed £4 million to support additional plantings. (Source: Office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Fleet News, Iran Financial Tribune, 15 May, 2018) Contact: Office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, www.london.gov.uk

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


    London Mayor Calls for Zero-Emission Zones by 2020 (Int'l)

    Date: 2018-05-16
    In the UK, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is reportedly calling for the introduction of zero-emission zones in some parts of the capital from 2020 as part of a long-term vision of a carbon neutral city by 2050. In his Environment Strategy, the mayor calls for the city to adopt clean air policies, electric vehicle, an increase in London's current solar capacity to 1GW by 2030 and 2GW by 2050.

    The strategy includes a proposal on carbon budgets, aimed at reducing London's greenhouse gas emissions -- a 40 pct reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels in 2018-2022, which is in line with with the Paris climate agreement to limit global climate change to 1.5 degrees. In addition, the mayor will fund thousands more trees and improvements to community green spaces. Since the start of his mayoralty, Khan has directly funded the planting of over 70,000 trees and has committed £4 million to support additional plantings. (Source: Fleet News, Iran Financial Tribune, 15 May, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    States Act Against EPA's Methane Standards Delays (Reg & Leg)
    EPA,Methane Leak
    Date: 2018-04-09
    Reuters is reporting 14 states have filed suit against the U.S. EPA for delaying or failing to expeditiously issue regulations for curbing emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from existing oil and gas operations as required under the Clean Air Act. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is accused of putting the interests of oil and gas companies ahead of the EPA's obligation to protect air quality, including the control of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. The lawsuit is seeking a court order compelling the EPA to devise and issue the emissions standards in question.

    The legal challenge includes New York State, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Vermont and Iowa, as well as the District of Columbia and the city of Chicago. (Source: Guam Daily Post, Reuters, Others, 6 April, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  EPA,  Pruitt,  


    NCGA Comments on Bankrupt PES Proposed RFS Settlement (Ind. Report)
    National Corn Growers Association,Philadelphia Energy Solutions
    Date: 2018-03-30
    The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) this week submitted formal comments to the U.S. Department of Justice on the proposed settlement agreement between Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) and the US EPA. The settlement stems from the outstanding RFS compliance obligations the refiner has included in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

    "NCGA claims the settlement would undermine the RFS and allow the refiner 'to walk away' from more than half of its outstanding RFS obligations and allow its parent companies to avoid liability." According to NCGA President Kevin Skunes, the proposal "would have negative policy implications for the RFS and future compliance with the Clean Air Act, as the settlement does not hold all parties liable for violations of the Clean Air Act." (Source: NCGA, Neb. Rural Radio, Others, 29 Mar., 2018) Contact: NCGA, Kevin Skunes, Pres., (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Corn Growers Association,  RFS,  Philadelphia Energy Solutions,  


    "If You Love the Taste of a Lobster Stew, Served by a Window with a Cape Cod View" -- APCC Opposes Repeal of Clean Power Plan (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Association to Preserve Cape Cod
    Date: 2018-01-12
    Citing concerns about increased severity and frequency of coastal storms, sea level rise, coastal erosion and other existing and future adverse impacts from climate change to the Cape Cod region, the not-for-profit environmental group Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) submitted a letter to U.S. EPA kingpin Scott Pruitt opposing the agency's proposed plan to repeal the Obama era Clean Power Plan requiring significant reductions in electrical power plant CO2 emissions. Repeal of the Clean Power Plan would lift those restrictions and allow for continued and potentially increased use of coal to fire the nation's power plants.

    Highlights of APCC communication include: " Climate change has emerged as the greatest environmental threat facing our (Cape Cod) region's natural resources, economy and human population. Cape Cod communities are already experiencing worsening impacts from sea level rise, coastal erosion and an increase in frequency and severity of coastal storms associated with a changing climate.

    "Electrical power plants fired by fossil fuels are responsible for 31 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. -- the single largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the nation. Any effort to effectively reduce the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change must include a substantial reduction in power plant emissions levels. The Clean Power Plan would achieve that objective.

    "Issuance of the Clean Power Plan by the EPA in 2015, with its requirement for significant reductions in CO2 pollution emissions from power plants, has been the most important step to date taken by the U.S. to address climate change. Implementation of the CPP would set our nation on the right track toward mitigating climate change and its impacts, and it would secure the U.S.'s position as a responsible global partner in the effort to control CO2 emissions.

    "The EPA has a legal requirement under the Clean Air Act -- requirement that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court -- to regulate CO2 as a pollutant that endangers human health. Repeal of the CPP would be in direct conflict with the EPA's charge to protect the nation's environment and the health of its citizens, a responsibility entrusted to the agency since its establishment in 1970." (Source: Association to Preserve Cape Cod, CapeCodToday, 10 Jan., 2018) Contact: Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Andrew Gottlieb, Exec. Dir., (508) 619-3185, www.apcc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Obama Clean Power Plan,  EPA,  Clean Power Plan,  Pruitt,  


    RFS Ethanol Blend Waiver Sought for NJ Refinery (Ind. Report)
    RFS
    Date: 2017-11-20
    In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, legislators in the Garden State are asking the US EPA to waive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)rules governing blending of ethanol into gasoline, a requirement they say threatens the financial viability and future of the 100 year-old Paulsboro, New Jersey refinery. Refiners unable to comply with the blending rule can comply by purchasing credits (RINs) instead, an expensive proposition, the lawmakers said.

    "The cost of compliance to this regulation puts at risk these energy-sector jobs in our region. In addition, these high costs also contribute to the cost of gasoline for residents and consumers," the legislators claim. The legislators note the EPA has legal authority under the Clean Air Act to waive the renewable obligations “should they present a harm to a state or regional economy." (Source: NJ Spotlight, Various Media, 17 Nov., 2017)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  Ethanol Blend,  RINs,  Ethanol,  


    Calif. Lauded for Short-Term GHG Pollutants Legislation (REG & LEG)
    COP23
    Date: 2017-11-15
    AT the UN COP23 meeting in Bonn, the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations Environment Programme's Climate and Clean Air Coalition has recognized the state of California with its Climate and Clean Air Award for having the "most comprehensive and strongest set of targets for reducing short-lived climate pollutant emissions -- black carbon, methane -- into state law."

    The U.N. award recognizes California Senate Bill 1383 aimed at cutting California's methane and hydrofluorocarbon gases to 40 pct and black carbon to 50 pct below 2013 levels by 2030. This year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began the process of meeting the bill's targetswith the approval of approved new regulations to cut down on methane emissions from oil and gas field operations by more closely monitoring and repairing methane leaks. (Source: CARB, Various Media, WQED, 12 Nov., 2017) Contact: CARB, (800) 242-4450, helpline@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News COP23,  GHG,  Methane,  California Air Resources Board,  Black Carbon,  


    Pa. Gov. Seeking RFS Waiver to Protect Refiners (Reg & Leg)
    RFS
    Date: 2017-10-27
    Writing from the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (Dem) has asked President Trump for a waiver to the RFS saying on the grounds that high RIN prices and market volatility may lead to closure of the state's merchant refiners.

    "As you are aware, obligated parties such as oil refiners are required to submit RIN credits to the EPA to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. However, the merchant refiners of the Northeast are not able to acquire enough RIN credits to meet their RFS obligations because they have limited blending capacity. Therefore, they must purchase RINs on the secondary market, where prices have increased significantly,," Wolf's letter read.

    Wolf's letter asked for a waiver "until or unless the market prices deflate. Absent this waiver, the Northeast and specifically Pennsylvania will experience significant economic impacts."

    The Clean Air Act allows a waiver if the EPA administrator determines the implementation of RFS requirements would severely harm the economy of a state, a region or the country as a whole. (Source: Feedstuffs, Various Media, Progressive Farmer, 24 Oct., 2017) Contact: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, www.governor.pa.gov/contact

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RINs,  RFS,  


    EPA Sued for Missed Renewable Fuel Reporting Deadlines (Reg & Lag)
    EPA,Sierra Club
    Date: 2017-10-23
    In the nation's capital, the Sierra Club is taking the the US EPA to court claiming the agency is years overdue on its reporting obligations, and failure to address the growing prevalence of respiratory illness and environmental degradations the group says are being cause by corn and soy-based ethanol. According to the suit, the EPA violated the Clean Air Act by failing to update Congress on the environmental impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard program, and failed to study whether increased ethanol use is causing harm to the environment.

    According to the Sierra Club complaint, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is not submitting the required reports on the environmental and resource conservation impacts of the Energy Independence and Security Act's Renewable Fuel Standard program and has failed to complete the required "anti-backsliding" study to determine whether vehicle and engine air pollutant emissions changes, resulting from the Program's renewable fuel volumes, adversely impact air quality". the complaint says.

    The Sierra Club says it sent a letter to Pruitt on February 23, informing him that he wasn't performing his duty in regard to the RFS program. The Sierra Club seeks a declaration that Pruitt and the EPA have violated federal law, and an order compelling them to file the overdue reports. (Source: Sierra Club, 20 Oct., 2017) Contact: Sierra Club, Devorah Ancel, Oakland, California Office, www.sierraclub.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  Scott Pruitt,  Sierra Club,  ,  


    New EPA Rule OKs Texas Coal Plant Pollution Increases (Reg & Leg)
    Obama Clean Energy Plan
    Date: 2017-10-11
    The Texas Observer is reporting that a new EPA air pollution rule will allow Texas coal plants to emit almost twice as much sulfur dioxide than an earlier proposal by the Obama administration. Aside from being a key component in forming haze, sulfur dioxide exacerbates respiratory illnesses such as asthma and contributes to acid rain.

    For instance, in 2016, the Big Brown coal plant east of Waco, emitted 42,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) , 4,500 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and about 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Under the old rule, the plant was required to cut SO2 by 97 pct, bringing its yearly emissions down to 1,380 tons. The reduction would have either required the plant to install expensive scrubbers. Under the new rule, the plant can continue to emit 42,000 tons of SO2.

    According to Rice University civil and environmental engineering professor Dan Cohan,"The new proposal is a sham. It does nothing. It sets a cap that's higher than what those plants have been emitting for the past few years. Texas is allowing more power plants to keep burning coal un-scrubbed than anywhere else in the country. Rather than do nothing, which would get [the EPA] sued for violating the Clean Air Act, the strategy appears to be to issue a rule that is so weak that it accomplishes nothing. But by having the rule there, they can claim that they're doing something. It's a very cynical approach to environmental protections." (Source: Texas Observer, 9 Oct., 2017) Contact: Rice University, Prof. Dan Cohan, https://cohan.rice.edu

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


    Burning Coal Methane for Carbon Credits Proposed (Ind. Report)
    Global Carbon Strategies Corp.
    Date: 2017-09-08
    Lakewood, Colorado-based Global Carbon Strategies Corp. (GCS) reports it plans to "flare" up to 400,000 million btu of vented coal mine methane gas per year from 6 "gob" mines in Utah under a five-year contract with Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

    Under federal legislation, mine operators are permitted to vent mine methane without penalty. GCS' proposal qualifies under California's cap-and-trade system.

    GCS will pay a 12.5-cent royalty per million btu flared, plus $5,000 per year per mine in rent. Carbon offsets are currently selling for $5.80 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.

    According to the EPA, coal mines represent 12 pct of all human-caused methane emissions and are the nation's second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after CO2. Even so, methane emissions from mines are exempted from regulation under the Clean Air Act because the gas has to be vented from underground coal deposits to prevent lethal explosions.

    To calculate the carbon offsets the methane destruction is worth, GCS is relying on Salt Lake City-based consulting firm Bluesource, which will register the offsets with the Climate Action Reserve. They could then be issued California Air Resources Board (CARB) which has authorized 7 mines to join the offset program. (Source: GCS, CARB, Salt Lake Tribune, Sept., 2017) Contact: Global Carbon Strategies, C. Kennedy, VP, 1885 Denver West Court, Lakewood, Colorado, 80401, -- phone and email not presently available; Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, (801) 538-5100, https://trustlands.utah.gov; CARB, (800) 242-4450, helpline@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov; Bluesource, www.bluesource.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bluesource,  California ARB,  ,  Global Carbon Strategies,  Methane,  Carbon Credit ,  


    EPA Temporarily Waives Ren. Fuel Blending Requirements (Ind. Report)
    RFA
    Date: 2017-09-01
    Following on our August 25th coverage, the Washington Examiner is reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday approved a fuel blending waiver in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and D.C. -- due to possible fuel supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the elimination of the volatility requirements for gasoline allows the corn ethanol industry to sell higher 15-pct ethanol blends in the gasoline supply in those states, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) which earlier this week lobbied the EPA head Scott Pruitt to issue a national fuel waiver.

    The EPA fuel waiver will make it easier for gasoline and diesel supplies to be distributed by relaxing Clean Air Act regulations that require special blends be made available to meet state-specific emission requirements. Current EPA emission rules don't allow for E15 to be blended in the summer because of its high fuel volatility and pressure rating. The new waiver relaxes those requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline through Sept. 15, opening up an opportunity to sell more E15 from the Gulf Coast to the Mid-Atlantic. (Source: RFA, Washington Examiner, 30 Aug., 2017) Contact: RFA, Geoff Cooper, Snr. VP, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News E15,  Ethanol Blend,  RFA,  Fuel Emissions ,  EPA,  Scott Pruitt,  


    Tenn. Counties Awarded Energy Efficiency Grant Funding (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2017-08-21
    Grundy, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie Counties in the Chattanooga, Tennessee region have received over $530,365 in energy efficiency and clean energy grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program. The program provides financial assistance to municipal and county governments, utility districts and other entities created by state statute. Funding comes from a 2011, $26.4 million Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    Grundy County will use its grant funds for efficiency upgrades, LED lighting and on/off energy sensors. Marion County will upgrade lighting to LEDs, install a new closed-circuit cooler and new Energy Star rated windows. Rhea County will get upgraded lighting and install new synthetic, reflective roofing, while Sequatchie County will upgrade to LED lighting in the Sequatchie County Justice Center, county courthouse and health department to save an estimated $42,645 a year. (Source: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Times Free Press, 21 Aug., 2017) Contact: Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, www.tennessee.gov/environment

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  

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