The Temporary Halt to Clean Power Plan Implementation Should Not Stall Climate Action

Less than two months ago, the international community negotiated a historic agreement recognizing that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet and deciding on a plan of action to strengthen the global response by all parties. The United States, buoyed by new mandates to reduce emissions from... continue reading »

Both Effective and Flexible, EPA‘s Proposed Rule Strikes a Sensible Balance

EPA’s proposed rule addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants establishes ambitious yet achievable standards for each state, and offers a number of implementation pathways such that each state can select the approach most likely to work for its own sources and citizens. In terms of stringency, the proposal calls on states to... continue reading »

Expanding the Solution Set: How CHP Can Support 111(d) Compliance

Combined heat and power (CHP) is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy using the same fuel. Replacing conventional boilers with CHP at industrial, commercial and institutional facilities improves the efficiency of energy use, and results in significant emissions reductions, both conventional air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. And because CHP displaces electricity generation... continue reading »

EPA Launches New Tool to Calculate Emissions Reductions from Clean Energy

EPA released its new ‘AVERT’ tool in February in recognition of the need for a more robust means of crediting energy efficiency and renewable energy in air regulation compliance plans. AVERT, which stands for AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool, is meant to enable state air regulators and clean energy project and program implementers to estimate... continue reading »

Advancing Smart Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing Power Plants under the Clean Air Act

Through smart regulatory design at both the federal and state levels, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act can be used to achieve meaningful and cost-effective greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from existing power plants. Prior to issuing 111(d) regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will set a standard for regulating GHGs from new power... continue reading »

CHP Offers Opportunity for Industrial Competitiveness and Greenhouse Gas Reductions

By producing both electrical and thermal energy together from the same fuel, combined heat and power (CHP) can lower energy bills for users while at the same time reducing the amount of pollution associated with meeting electrical and thermal energy demand. Because CHP displaces electricity production, it offers a low-cost way of reducing greenhouse gas... continue reading »

Executive Order Seeks to Foster Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power

On Thursday, August 30, the White House published an executive order that lays out policies and goals to encourage investment in industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP) to reduce air pollution, improve domestic industrial competitiveness, and create jobs. At the heart of the executive order is a goal to increase domestic CHP... continue reading »

EPA Takes a Careful and Thoughtful Approach to Standard-Setting Under the Clean Air Act

The following appeared as a comment in the National Journal Expert Blog: What Will Be Upshots of EPA Climate Rules? EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gas emissions from certain fossil-fuel-fired power plants ensures new power generation will be at least as clean as new natural gas combined cycle plants.  Specifically, EPA has... continue reading »

EPA Uses Flexible Approach in Setting GHG Standard for New Fossil-Fuel-Fired Power Plants

The long-awaited proposed New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gas emissions from certain fossil-fuel-fired power plants ensures new power generation will be at least as clean as new natural gas combined cycle plants. Specifically, EPA is proposing that new fossil‐fuel‐fired power plants meet an output‐based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt‐hour (lb CO2/MWh).... continue reading »

First Stop: Health. Next Stop: Carbon?

EPA should be congratulated on issuing the final mercury and air toxics standards (MATS) for utilities. These rules are more than 20 years in the making and establish for the first time federal regulations to control mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. EPA estimates that the rule will reduce mercury emissions from coal-burning... continue reading »

Strengthening EPA’s Hand In Addressing Climate Change

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in American Electric Power v. Connecticut resoundingly affirms the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to address global warming and regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In 2004, several environmental groups and eight states, including Connecticut, California, and New York sued five large electric utilities to get them to... continue reading »