Skip to comments.Greens press EPA to revoke ‘outdated’ emissions exemption
Posted on 08/19/2013 12:09:31 PM PDT by jazusamo
The Obama administration is poised to rescind a little-known emissions exemption for power plants as it seeks to address climate change.
Green groups are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize a rule that would force utilities to limit emissions when power plants are shutting down, starting up or malfunctioning.
Those emissions had previously been exempted from regulations because they were not considered a part of normal operations, but the EPA says that policy is now outdated.
The environmental group Sierra Club held rallies last week near two facilities that would be affected by the end of the exemption and urged officials to issue the tightened regulation in September, as scheduled.
Activists also met last week with Obama administration officials from the EPA and Council on Environmental Quality in Detroit and Birmingham, Ala., to press their case for the rule.
They stressed that the rule would improve the health of residents near such facilities, who they said often tend to be minorities and earning low incomes.
We just want to keep the pressure on EPA and the White House, said Eitan Bencuya, a Sierra Club spokesman. Its an important rule a critical rule and we havent forgotten about it.
Business and industry groups oppose the regulation but appear resigned to it taking effect.
One industry representative described the end of the exemption as the latest in a death by 1,000 cuts for the power industry.
If youre making it more difficult for the utilities to work within the Clean Air Act rules and make it more expensive to deal with these things, thats not good for energy consumers, said Michael Whatley, executive vice president for the Consumer Energy Alliance, a coalition of oil companies a groups representing energy-consuming industries.
The proposed rule faces a Sept. 26 deadline for finalization.
The EPA is taking it up amid President Obama's second-term push on climate change, which is focused on curbing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. New EPA chief Gina McCarthy said the president underscored climate change as a priority when the two first met earlier this year to discuss her taking over the agency, according to The Washington Post .
The EPA defended the startup, shutdown and malfunction measure, saying it would benefit people who live near the impacted power plants facilities by reducing air and water pollution.
Air pollution emitted during these periods may adversely impact the health of people nearby and contribute to smog and other problems in communities that are further downwind, the EPA said in a statement.
The 36 states affected by the regulation, those that have a State Implementation Plan for meeting pollution standards developed by local and state officials, but approved by the EPA, will have wide berth in how to implement the change.
It would likely be most onerous for electric utilities that occasionally need to run coal-fired peaking plants.
Utilities run those backup generators when demand for electricity outstrips supply. Theyre often older, dirtier and more expensive to operate than those used to provide base load power.
The very nature of running those units indicates they fall outside the realm of normal operations, utility industry trade group the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) said in its comment on the proposed rule.
The group said the EPAs proposal was too strict, contending that pollution control technologies dont work as effectively during startup and shutdown periods because parameters, such as temperature and pressure, are different.
For many reasons, achieving such standards would not only be technically infeasible, but also would be inconsistent with manufacturers recommendations and safe operating procedures for control equipment, Quinlan Shea, EEI vice president for the environment, said in the May 13 comment.
But states would have plenty of flexibility in implementing the change, according to Adam Riedel, an associate with Los Angeles-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.
Given that, its unclear whether closing the emissions loophole during the shutdown, startup and malfunction period will force utilities to mothball generators, Riedel said.
In terms of leeway, Riedel said the affected states could determine its impossible to install the pollution controls to comply with the regulation. They could then establish higher emissions limits for startup, shutdown and malfunction periods, he said.
Regardless, Riedel said he expected industry to file legal challenges against the rule.
This is certainly a change that utilities are aware of and could have an impact on their operations, Riedel said. Plants go into startup and shutdown routinely, then you have peaking plants.
And, just think. The jet setting elitists (algore, hairy screed, difi, jerry toker moonbeam brown etc) are at Lake Tahoe Summit today telling the peons how to act. Weather isn’t looking good. Lightning? Oh, lightning where are you.
The “outdated” stuff is all the bull-Obama about global warming...er...climate change....er...whatever.
Enviro-nazis are determined to do away with ANY power.......except their own..........
They can watch TV by candle light.
Wind generators do not provide consistent power. When the wind blows the can generate and when it stops a power plant must quickly pick up the load. Wing generated electricity is given priority and they made the coal fired plants the backup. A coal fired plant puts out more pollutants when it is spooled up to fast and not just ramped up slowly. Power plants often pay the wind generating not to generate so they can provide reliable power.
Our side always rolls over.
Their side never quits until it achieves its goals.
CWII is coming.
That will free up a lot of power for us sane people and ease their troubled guilty minds in knowing that they are not causing the temperature to raise .000000000789 degrees over the next 10,000 years.
The obvious question is” “Have those folks ever thought about the actual consequences of what they demand?” I really doubt it, because that would mean they do not have total faith in their ‘environmental religious dogma.’ (or catma possibly)
I’ll second that.
It’d sure make for a lot fewer enviro-nazis when they had to practice what they preach.
What role does government have in any of that?
I’d bet most of have not, they’re living in lala land.
I work with these ever changing environmental rules in my real life.
A company can invest millions in control devices to comply with a rule
then come to find out a few years later, “they” want to change the rules,
and you are right back to the drawing board again.
A far as these new proposed rules on doing away with the exemptions
in standard operating procedures for things such as
start-up, shut-down, and malfunction are concerned,
you can bet your sweet ass that none of these idiots
have ever lit a fire in a cold boiler to get it started up,
or had to try to keep control of one one during a malfunction,
or tried to deal with it on shut-down.
Short of doing away with the EPA (which I’m for) their regulatory rule making power should be stripped away and given to Congress for rules affecting many people and costing large sums of money, IMO.
The agency is out of control and is used as a political football by presidents, especially this one.
Take out your wallet, Dear Leader wants you to pay more.
...pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize a rule that would force utilities to limit emissions when power plants are shutting down, starting up or malfunctioning. Those emissions had previously been exempted from regulations because they were not considered a part of "normal operations," but the EPA says that policy is now "outdated."
...the rule would improve the health of residents near such facilities, who they said often tend to be minorities and earning low incomes.
What the "green group" and EPA doofuses fail realize is that their new regulations will harm these same people by causing their electric rates to increase. So by trying to protect them from occasional small increases in pollutants, they are harming them permanently by taking more money out of their pockets every month. Brilliant liberal logic.
Yep, but these tree huggers could care less about supposed low income minorities living near these plants not being able to afford their power bills and the air pollution is nothing compared to the 50’s and 60’s.