The Week Ahead: Proposed Carbon Limits for Power Plants on Agenda in House, California


The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing Sept. 9 on “State Perspectives: Questions Concerning EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.” 

As covered in a June 17 Energy and Climate Report article, under the Obama administration’s clean power plan, unveiled in June 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed carbon dioxide limits for existing power plants June 2. As covered in another article, the agency reproposed carbon dioxide limits for new power plants Jan. 7, setting separate standards for coal-fired and natural gas-fired generating units. 

At the hearing, four state public utility commissioners are scheduled to testify, including Kenneth Anderson (Texas), Travis Kavulla (Montana), Paul Roberti (Rhode Island) and Kelly Speakes-Backman (Maryland). Other witnesses include David Danner, chairman of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission; Henry Darwin, director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality; and Tom Easterly, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. 

California to Hold Workshop

On Sept. 9, the California Air Resources Board, in collaboration with the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public workshop on EPA’s proposed carbon limits for existing and new power plants. 

The workshop will focus on how the proposed rules will impact the implementation of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32) and which provisions in the proposed rules the agencies support and which have raised concerns. 

Issues for discussion include enforceability, interstate energy efficiency and renewable energy crediting, and the potential for collaboration with western states on compliance issues. A question and answer sessions also is on the agenda. 

FERC to Hold Workshop

FERC will hold a public workshop Sept. 8 in Washington on existing market rules and operational practices affecting price formation issues in energy and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations and independent system operators. 

As covered in a Sept. 4 article, the industrywide workshop will focus on how to minimize so-called uplift payments, or make-whole payments, that are paid to generators when they are required to dispatch power but cannot recover their incremental marginal costs at the power pool's market clearing price. 

Uplift payments are becoming a big expense, according to a FERC staff report prepared for the workshop.  

Japan Ministry to Meet on Vehicle Tax  

Japan's Ministerial Prefectural Tax Division is expected to convene its first meeting Sept. 12 to work out details of a tax that would target autos with poor fuel performance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

As detailed in a Sept. 4 article, Japan plans to introduce the new tax as early as next year, while essentially keeping the current tax breaks in effect for fuel-efficient cars.    

Other Climate, Energy Events  

On Sept. 8, California Gov. Edmund Brown (D), former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senate President pro Tem-elect Kevin de León and California Air Resources Board chairman Mary D. Nichols will be the featured speakers at the "Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California" symposium in Sacramento.  

The Atlantic will hold an event Sept. 10 in New Orleans on “American Town Hall: Energy and the Midterm Elections.”  

The event will feature Jay Dardenne, Louisiana lieutenant governor; Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans mayor; Democratic State Representative Walt Leger; Chris John, president and CEO of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association; Eric Smith, associate director for the Tulane Energy Institute and former member of the House of Representatives; and Robert Thomas, director of the Center for Environmental Communications at Loyola University.  

The Atlantic will hold additional town hall events Sept. 23 in Philadelphia and Oct. 7 in Detroit.  

The American Nuclear Society will hold a “Nuclear Power Bloggers” webinar Sept. 11 that will feature a question and answer session with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Allison Macfarlane.  

Also on Sept. 11, IHS Energy Daily plans to hold a press briefing featuring Macfarlane. The agenda includes discussion of spent fuel storage, licensing proceedings for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and earthquakes safety issues, including lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Environmental Law Institute will hold a webinar Sept. 12 on "The Ethics of Communicating Scientific Uncertainty: How Professional Standards Shape Scientists,’ Lawyers,' and Journalists’ Approaches to Uncertainty."  

The 2014 Global Cleantech Summit will be held Sept. 11-12 in Beijing. The summit is being held by the Climate Group and China's National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.  

On Sept. 8, The Climate Group will hold a question and answer session on Twitter with Executive Secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres.  

Also on Sept. 8, the Association for Environmental Studies on Sciences will hold a webinar on "U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Setting the Agenda for Sustainability in the U.S. & Globally.”  

The World Resources Institute will hold an event Sept. 11 in Washington on "Global Shale & Water Risk."



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