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The Art of the Plausible

Prospects for clean energy legislation in 2011.

Fortnightly Magazine - April 2011

any other energy source that results in at least an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to average emissions in the prior year from “freely emitting sources.” See, e.g., Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010 , S. 3464, as introduced by Sens. Richard Lugar, Lindsay Graham, and Lisa Murkowski on June 9, 2010.

12. The Graham legislation defined “clean energy” to include electric energy generated at a facility (including a distributed generation facility) from: A) solar, wind, geothermal, or ocean energy; B) biomass (including algae); C) landfill gas; D) qualified hydropower; E) marine and hydrokinetic; F) incremental geothermal production; G) coal-mine methane; H) qualified waste-to-energy; I) qualified nuclear energy; J) advanced coal generation; K) eligible retired fossil fuel generation (retiring before 2015); and L) any other clean energy source based on innovative technology certified by DOE Secretary.

13. Permitting new clean generation such as biomass, power plant turbine projects, and new supercritical coal plants will be more difficult if EPA retains its GHG permitting authority for new sources, and applies BACT for GHGs to those sources under its New Source Review program. It would also seem to be incongruous to require GHG permitting for sources intended to meet the requirements of a clean energy mandate. It might be appropriate to address these permitting issues in any CES if GHG regulatory authority is retained.

14. The Brattle Group, Potential Coal Plant Retirements Under Emerging Environmental Regulations , Dec. 8, 2010; the chart at p. 11 summarizes the results of modeled plant shutdowns presented by a variety or organizations, including NERC.

15. North Carolina v. EPA 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008).