The Week Ahead: EPA to Hold Conference Calls With Stakeholders on Carbon Standards for Power Plants


The Environmental Protection Agency's plan to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants will take center stage on the energy and climate front the week of Sept. 9.

As detailed in an Aug. 26 Energy and Climate Reportarticle, EPA plans to hold conference calls with states and community groups Sept. 9 and environmental and industry groups Sept. 12 regarding guidelines for states to use when establishing carbon dioxide emission limits for existing power plants.

As part of President Obama's climate change plan announced June 25, he directed the agency to propose emission guidelines for existing power plants by June 1, 2014, and issue final guidelines within a year.

For new power plants, Obama directed EPA to repropose a new source performance standard (NSPS) for carbon dioxide by Sept. 20. As covered in a July 9 article, the reproposed standard is expected to set different emission limits based on fuel type rather than a single emission limit regardless of the fuel burned to generate electricity.

House Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Yucca Mountain 

On Sept. 10, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on "Implementing the Nuclear Waste Policy Act—Next Steps."

As detailed in subcommittee background documents, the hearing will focus on actions by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to implement an Aug. 13 writ of mandamusby the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to resume review of the Department of Energy’s license application to construct a repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain (Aiken County v. Nevada, D.C. Cir., No. 11-1271, 8/13/13).

International Joint Commission to Meet

During Great Lakes Week Sept. 9-12 in Milwaukee, the International Joint Commission will hold a panel discussion Sept. 10 on a report that points to climate change as compounding Lake Erie's accelerating decline primarily due to farming practices, old sewer systems, and urban runoff. The commission advises the U.S. and Canadian governments on boundary water issues 

The report, Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority: Scientific Findings and Policy Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Loadings and Harmful Algal Bloom, which was covered in a Aug. 30 article, said intense storms related to climate change can cause more runoff and nutrient loading. Coupled with warmer temperatures, that could lead to more severe and frequent algal blooms. Climate change may also contribute to increasing hypoxia, or dead zones, caused by low levels of oxygen in the central basin of Lake Erie, the report said.

EPA to Hold Webinar on Aggregated Power Purchasing

On Sept. 10, EPA will hold a webinar on "The Power of Aggregated Purchasing: How to Green Your Electricity Supply and Save Money." The webinar will feature how organizations, including the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium and Nonprofit Energy Alliance, have pooled their purchases of electricity to secure renewable energy supplies at lower costs compared to conventional sources.

Other Energy, Climate Events

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) will give the keynote address Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C., at an American Enterprise Institute event, "Natural Gas, Natural Allies: Energizing the U.S. -Japan Relationship." The event will cover an AEI report, "Ensuring Japan's Critical Resource Security: Case Studies in Rare Earth Elements and Natural Gas Supplies."

The United States Energy Association will hold an event Sept. 13 in Washington D.C., on "The Current and Future Status of Energy Storage Technologies." Speakers include Haresh Kamath, program manager for energy storage at the Electric Power Research Institute, and Imre Gyuk, energy storage program manager for the Energy Department. 

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing Sept. 12 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on "Energy Infrastructure and Power Pathways: Shared Experiences in the United States and Europe." Speakers include Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Daniel Dobbeni, president of Eurogrid International.

The Renewable Energy Technology Conference & Exhibitionwill be held Sept. 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) will give the opening address on "Through the Looking Glass: The Future of Renewable Energy Technology."