Tag: coal

Likely and Potential Impacts of Yesterday’s Energy Independence Executive Order

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order (the “Order”) has now been posted on the White House website, a summary of which can be found here.  Over the last week, many pundits and industry insiders have speculated on its contents, with many having a fairly clear crystal ball on … Continue Reading

Brief Overview of President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order

Section 1 of the Order sets forth various policy objectives, many of which (e.g., clean, reliable, affordable, safe energy) are goals that should garner bi-partisan support.  How these policies are interpreted by the various heads of agencies will be one factor guiding America’s energy future.  Another policy factor may be critical, contained in section 1(d), … Continue Reading

President Trump Holds Press Conference and Signs Energy Independence Executive Order

President Trump and four executives of his administration held a press conference this afternoon in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Map Room. Rick Perry (Secretary of Energy), Ryan Zinke (Secretary of Interior), Scott Pruitt (EPA Administrator), and Vice President Michael Pence provided opening remarks, flanked by coal mining representatives.  Secretary Perry started by noting it … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Panel Rules Minnesota Climate Change Law Unconstitutional

Today, the Eighth Circuit determined that the Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”), a Minnesota law that established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions, was unconstitutional (decision available here). In so doing, the Court affirmed the decision of District Court Judge Susan Nelson, whose 2014 decision we covered in “Court Declares Minnesota Coal Law Unconstitutional: … Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS: Xcel Energy Announces Commitment to Cease Coal-Fired Operations at Sherco Units 1 and 2

Xcel Energy announced this afternoon its intent to cease coal-fired generation at Sherco Units 1 and 2 in 2026 and 2023, respectively, while adding 1,200 MW of new renewable sources (800 MW of wind and 400 MW of solar) by 2020.  According to the Xcel Energy website, Sherco Unit 1 has a generating capacity of 680 MW … Continue Reading

Regulate vs. Replace: Hg Ct in MN Affirms State Commission’s Application of Mercury Emissions Reduction Statute

Last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved investor owned utility Minnesota Power’s mercury emissions reduction plan for the 585 MW Boswell Unit 4, its largest coal-fired power plant.  Minnesota’s Mercury Emissions Reduction Act (MERA) requires utilities to prepare plans to reduce mercury emissions for the state’s six largest coal power plants.  See Minn. Stat. … Continue Reading

Court Declares Minnesota Coal Law Unconstitutional: Electrons Favor the Laws of Physics to Those of Governments

Minnesota legislators passed the Next Generation Energy Act in 2007 which, in part, established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions. As a result Minn. Stat. §216H.03 now provides that no person shall: Construct within a state a new large energy facility that would contribute to statewide power sector carbon dioxide emissions; Import or commit to … Continue Reading

Recent Seventh Circuit Decision Could Impact Minnesota’s Coal Moratorium

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued a decision in Illinois Commerce Commission, et al., v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), which has the potential to influence and provide direction for the federal district court currently considering the constitutionality of Minnesota’s Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”).  In Illinois Commerce Comm’n, … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Reject’s EPA’s Transport (Cross-State Air Pollution) Rule

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA that rejects the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to regulating upwind pollution from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, among other sources. The so-called Transport Rule, also known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, had sought to … Continue Reading

EPA Releases Two New Final Rules Today Regarding Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

An update from Sara Bergan and Sarah Johnson Phillips Federal Requirements Under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Geologic Sequestration (GS) Wells See Pre-publication Rule The rule finalizes minimum federal requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act for underground injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) for GS purposes. It establishes a new … Continue Reading

SHOW ME THE MONEY: Clean Coal Power Initiative Round 3

On June 9, 2009, the Department of Energy (“DOE”) re-opened a Funding Opportunity Announcement (“FOA”) related to the Clean Coal Power Initiative (“CCPI”). The CCPI is a cost-shared collaboration between government and industry to advance clean coal technologies in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. CCPI goals include advancing clean coal technologies for commercial development. … Continue Reading

Utah Governor Urged to Withdraw from Western Climate Initiative

On February 13, the Utah Public Utilities and Technology Committee voted to favorably recommend a House Resolution urging Governor Huntsman to withdraw Utah from the Western Climate Initiative. The resolution, 1st Sub. H.R. 3, contains recitals referring to “Utah’s abundant and clean burning coal,” the lack of balance in the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Council on … Continue Reading

A Change in Direction: EPA Must Consider CO2 Emissions When Issuing Permits for New Power Plants

In case there was any doubt after the recent watershed election, the times they are a-changin’. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Environmental Appeals Board’s (“EAB”) recent ruling, In Re Deseret Power Electric Cooperative, could pave the way for EPA-imposed CO2 emissions limits on power plants and other significant sources of CO2 emissions. In response to a … Continue Reading
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