Library filed under Pollution

CPUC Preliminary Ruling on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Standard

Cpuc_prelimary_ruling_emissions_standard_and_attachments_thumb Today, we adopt an interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance standard for new long-term financial commitments to baseload generation undertaken by all load-serving entities (LSEs), consistent with the requirements and definitions of Senate Bill (SB) 1368 (Stats. 2006, ch. 598).2 Our adopted emissions performance standard or “EPS” is intended to serve as a near-term bridge until an enforceable load-based GHG emissions limit is established and in operation.......Under SB 1368, the EPS applies to “baseload generation,” but the requirement to comply with it is triggered only if there is a “long-term financial commitment” by an LSE. The statute defines baseload generation as “electricity generation from a powerplant that is designed and intended to provide electricity at an annualized plant capacity factor of at least 60%..........Pursuant to SB 1368, the performance level of the EPS must be “no higher” than the emissions rate of a CCGT powerplant.11 However, the statute does not specify the emissions rate for a CCGT. Based on our review of emissions rates associated with a broad range of CCGT powerplants of varying vintages, we adopt an EPS emissions rate of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour (MWh).Editor's Note: This provides interesting insight into the rationale behind establishing 1,000 pds of CO2/MWh as an Emissions Performance Standard (EPS) for baseload generation. Please note that in Figure 1 "Net Emissions Comparison Data' the net emissions accorded 'wind electricity' should have been accorded to 'solar thermal with Gas Assist'.
16 Dec 2006

Midwest Generation, Governor Agree On Long-Range Emissions Reduction Plan

Chicago-based independent power producer Midwest Generation announced today that it has reached agreement with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on a comprehensive, long-range plan that will begin reducing mercury emissions from its power plants 18 months ahead of federal regulations, followed by multi-year programs to further cut other emissions at each of the company’s six plants in Illinois.
13 Dec 2006

Hype and governance

The importance of finding reliable, clean, and economic solutions to our energy questions is paramount to our economy, our welfare, and our way of life. There are good ideas that are being discussed and others that will likely not see the light of day. Before you become a tool to advance the political agenda of the Carbon Coalition, make sure you know what their agenda is and what the footprint of that agenda might be in your town and our region five and 10 years out. You might find the Coalition has not thoroughly vetted its plan. It is best to know that now, before our political leaders feel pressed and grasp at anything to look like they're "just doing something".
13 Dec 2006

Airlines withdraw from UK emissions plan after passenger duty increase

LONDON (AFX) - British Airways PLC, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet PLC have pulled out of the UK government's carbon emission reduction scheme after Chancellor Gordon Brown doubled air passenger duty, The Independent on Sunday newspaper reported. The rise in the duty -- from 5 stg to 10 stg for standard class passengers on European flights, from 10 stg to 20 stg for business or premium classes in Europe, and from 40 stg to 80 stg for passengers flying to other destinations -- was announced by Brown in his pre-budget report last week.
10 Dec 2006

Alliance joins greenhouse gas action

The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s position that it is not required to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, seen as an element of the toxic brew advancing global warming, was contested at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. Among the groups filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of such regulation was the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
1 Dec 2006

Grist Interview with Rep. John Dingell

There is no one simple solution to our energy problems. Whether we're talking about transportation or generation of electricity, it's many things -- it's alternative fuels, it's conservation, it's nuclear, it's a whole wide array of things. And in automobiles, we're going to have to explore things like hybrids. We're going to have to go to diesels. I'm trying to push us going to diesels because we get a 20- to 25-percent fuel benefit.
1 Dec 2006

Professor James Lovelock Speech November 2006

Green ideology is an understandable response to adverse change but it is wrong to make science and technology the scapegoats for its anger. Not surprisingly any alternative energy scheme that seems natural and not based on science or technology is embraced by environmentalists. Some of these alternatives, such as biofuels are positively dangerous and if exploited on a large scale would hasten disaster. Others such as wind energy are inefficient and expensive. In the now rapidly changing world the green concepts of sustainable development and renewable energy that inspired the Kyoto meeting are far too late to have any value. What we need now is a well planned and sustainable retreat from the polluted and degraded world of today. The only way, I think, to do this is to welcome science and technology and make maximum use of environmentally friendly nuclear fission energy. We are an urban civilization and to survive the severe climate change soon due we need secure supplies of food water and electricity. We cannot expect to go on burning fossil fuel nor establish a non polluting way to do it in time. Therefore, except where electricity is powered by abundant water flow or geophysical heat, there is no safe alternative to nuclear energy.
28 Nov 2006

NSP calls renewable energy goal unrealistic

The price of bringing on “higher cost energy” could reach $83 million a year, NSP says. The power corporation also argues that gearing down coal-fired plants to make room for renewable energy will make them less efficient, and even increase greenhouse gas pollution. “Under these conditions,” NSP says, “the plants emit more emissions per unit of electricity … an increase in intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.” Power corporation CEO Ralph Tedesco says the pollution comes from burning fossil fuels needed when wind power hits lulls. “The reason for that is people expect the lights to be on,” Tedesco said Tuesday, at an event unveiling three wind turbines for the Wentworth valley.
22 Nov 2006

Windmills aren't the answer

It must be a harrowing time for those who once thought the cool breeze could save us all from the coming ecocide. The expectations of wind advocates have already had to be minimized as they realize there is nothing inherently virtuous about their pet piece of tech. Alas, like recycling fanatics, they are likely to end up praising wind power as a moral enterprise that "instills good habits" and signals "green consciousness," even if the honest cost-benefit analysis goes against them in the long run.
21 Nov 2006

TXU details plan to cut emissions

TXU on Friday revealed the first details of how it plans to cut emissions by 20 percent while building 11 new coal-burning power units. The Dallas-based company filed a permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to add pollution-control equipment to its existing Martin Lake coal plant in Rusk County. That plant has three coal-burning units now and would add a fourth under TXU's plans. The Martin Lake retrofit is the first of three that TXU has promised as part of its new coal strategy. Similar announcements are expected by the year's end for the three-unit Monticello plant in Titus County and the two-unit Big Brown plant in Freestone County. Each of those plants is to add one unit.
18 Nov 2006

Energy's mix depends on market, policy signals

The fate of Wyoming’s energy mix in the next few decades depends a lot on what kind of signals the energy industry receives from either the market and policy-makers. Two experts assembled for the final presentation of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Energy Futures lecture series said how we deal with carbon emissions will have a great deal to do with Wyoming’s energy future.
17 Nov 2006

A chemist inside the greenhouse

Like most really thoughtful environmentally concerned scientists, I'd rather a tiny amount (in metric tonnes or cubic metres, after decades of use) of stored radioactive waste than the unmitigated disaster of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. And renewables are not realistically and politically going to fill the gap any time soon.
16 Nov 2006

Combat global warming by developing nuclear power

Just about everyone in the Northwest should be concerned about the potentially devastating effects of climate change. And just about everyone should realize that there is only one way to head off the environmental disaster looming ahead -- an aggressive combination of improvements in energy efficiency and a major increase in the use of energy sources that do not release global-warming gases. With no possibility of increases in our large-scale hydropower projects and now talk of removing some existing dams, that means an increasing use of the only other large-scale, emissions-free source: Nuclear power.
15 Nov 2006

No magic bullet for carbon pollution: IEA

The world’s economies have no alternative to boosting energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions to tackle global warming, as clean energy lies decades away as a mainstream source, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said here on Tuesday..... According to the IAE’s forecast for 2030, oil will remain the no 1 energy source, followed by coal and then gas. These fossil fuels will still account for 85 per cent of needs.
14 Nov 2006

What Do Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller Fear?

On October 27, Senators John (Jay) Rockefeller IV and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex W. Tillerson demanding that the company cease funding for two dozen or so organizations and individuals they call a "small cadre of global climate change skeptics." Although it is unclear which organizations Snowe and Rockefeller are seeking to defund, one thing is clear: This is an attempt to muzzle groups and individuals with whom the Senators disagree. It is an attempt to stifle free speech and, as such, should be condemned by Americans of all political persuasions - both left and right. The Senators' letter is fundamentally inconsistent with both the process of scientific method and rational public policy formulation. Scientific method isn't about winning popularity contests. It's also not about being with the majority opinion. It isn't supposed be determined by politics. It is about attempting to limit bias or prejudice in the results.
10 Nov 2006

Indigenous people see harm from Kyoto warming pact

Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Asia said on Wednesday that U.N.-backed clean energy projects meant to combat global warming were aggravating threats to their livelihoods. They said hydropower projects or plantations of fast-growing trees, prompted by a billion-dollar scheme under the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol for limiting the planet’s dependence on fossil fuels, were damaging nature. “We are not only victims of climate change, we are now victims of the carbon market,” Jocelyn Therese, a spokesman for indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, told a news conference on the fringes of U.N. talks on global warming. “Efforts that are supposed to…retard climate change are having an equally disastrous effect,” said Ana Pinto, representing indigenous peoples in India.
8 Nov 2006

UN talks split on date for climate fight rules

A U.N. conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010. Industrial investors, weighing options ranging from coal-fired power plants to wind energy, are frustrated at the possibility of years of uncertainty about rules for fossil fuel emissions upon which carbon markets depend.
7 Nov 2006

Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?

Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
3 Nov 2006

View from the Top: Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric

FINANCIAL TIMES: There has been some recent legislation on Co2 reduction. I wonder if you see that as one of the big developments of late, and what its significance is. JEFFREY IMMELT: Yes. I think if you look at what some of the states are doing, California for instance, or even what's happening around the world, what's talked about in the UK, I think that's going to change the way people look at technology and it's going to change the way people look at energy policy in the future. It tends to be the way change starts. I would say in many ways some of the things that have happened in Europe over time have tended to drive technology. For instance, when Europe said it was going to have 10 per cent renewables that's what really opened up the world of wind energy and solar and things like that, so I think it's very meaningful.
3 Nov 2006

Scientific concerns over Stern report

I have seen Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, read the book, and read the Stern report. As a scientist, I am appalled. Both authors present myriad dangers as truth – no doubts, a 100 per cent consensus. Yet a glance at the professional literature on glaciers, hurricanes etc. confirm that this consensus is a myth. Besides, consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.
2 Nov 2006
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