Capital Thinking: Environment

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LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

 

Last Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, September 24: The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, will hold a hearing to examine black carbon as a global health problem and to determine low-cost solutions.
  • Tuesday, September 24: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, will hold a hearing to examine third-party sustainability certification of U.S. seafood and its impact on the seafood options in grocery stores and restaurants. The hearing intends to also explore ways to ensure current and future sustainability certification efforts may benefit both the seafood industry and consumers.

Regulatory Activity

 

EPA Releases Proposed Rule Governing New Power Plant Co2 Emissions

On Friday, September 20, the EPA released a highly anticipated proposed rule to impose new carbon emissions restrictions on new fossil-fired power plants, including separate standards for new coal-fired power plants. In doing so, the agency withdrew the proposed rule that it put forward in April 2012. The proposed rule is a key item in the Administration’s Climate Action Plan.

The proposed rule would require coal-fired plants to meet a standard of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New large and small natural gas-fired units must meet a limit of 1,000 and 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour limit, respectively. The proposed standard for new coal-fired plants is predicated on partial implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. In response to the many stakeholders that have argued that CCS technology is not economically or technologically feasible to implement, EPA has countered by pointing to two new coal-fired plants under construction, which are 75 percent complete, that are installing CCS technology and two other plants that in the agency’s view, “have continued to make progress toward construction.” EPA Administrator McCarthy foreshadowed this justification in her testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, September 18, prior to release of the rule, when she explained to committee members that EPA had reviewed that issue at great length prior to releasing the proposal.

The proposed rule will be subject to a 60-day comment period following publication in the Federal Register. It will also be examined at a public hearing in the near future.

Green Sports

The EPA has launched a new Green Sports Resource Directory intended to assist teams, leagues, facilities and fans to “green” the sports community and events. EPA provides examples from NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL and others for tips and success stories as to how to save energy, cut waste, and clean up pollution in stadiums, at events, in colleges, in universities, and through leagues. Information on the Green Sport Resource Directory can be accessed here. Information regarding major leagues’ green initiatives can be accessed here.

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