Power Lines Blog

EPA’s Interim Deadline Poses Problems: 111(d) Proposed Interim Deadlines May Be Cliffhanger for States

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Most people would agree that the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to curb carbon dioxide emissions under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act is far-reaching. The rule puts forward CO2 emissions limitations that will dramatically change how energy is generated and consumed across our country.

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Which Hat Are You Wearing?

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For the last four months I’ve been wearing two hats at APPA. As general counsel, I represent APPA and our member utilities before courts and regulatory bodies on a broad range of issues. And I’ve been filling in, temporarily, as the head of human resources. While I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to learn and interact with colleagues and members in new ways, I’ve also gained a new perspective on the challenges that in-house counsel at public power utilities face when they wear multiple hats.

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Public Power’s Comments on EPA Proposed Rule Caution Against Doing Too Much Too Soon

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On Dec. 1, APPA submitted its comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. APPA agrees that the electricity sector needs to reduce CO2 emissions, but cautions against the dangers of the proposed rule trying to do too much too quickly.

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When Coal is Off the Rails

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Delays on railroad shipments of coal have been increasing substantially, and may pose a threat to grid reliability if action is not taken. Thirty-seven percent of electricity generated in the United States is from coal, two-thirds of which is moved from the mine to plant via rail. The amount of coal stocks, measured in “days-of-burn,” is down significantly, due in large part to congestion on the railroads. Utilities generally build up these coal stockpiles during autumn to prepare for the high winter demand. Weather forecasters are already predicting a cold winter, and a lack of stockpiled coal will make it more difficult and more expensive for the electric utility industry to keep the lights on.

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EPA’s Double Jeopardy for Modified/Reconstructed Electric Generating Units

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Environmental stewardship is a priority for public power utilities. But the onslaught of capricious — and sometimes unnecessary — Environmental Protection Agency regulations often hurts rather than helps our mission. And threatens to raise costs for electricity customers.

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2014 Midterm Elections: The Public Power Forecast (UPDATED)

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All eyes are on the 2014 midterm elections and how they will define the new balance of power in Congress. While we can’t predict the which party will control the Senate, we can say with certainty that no matter what happens, there will be a lot of change on House and Senate congressional committees with jurisdiction over policy issues important to public power utilities.

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