National Grid joins 200 Other Companies to Support Carbon Emission Regulations by EPA

Dec 9, 2014

Some link the effects of major storms, such as Sandy, with greenhouse gases and climate change. National Grid has joined many other companies calling for stronger federal carbon emission restrictions.
Credit wbur.org

  Hundreds of national companies are supporting stronger federal regulations regarding greenhouse gases.  One of those is Syracuse power provider National Grid, which is looking for more action on climate change. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed setting goals for each state to reduce carbon emissions.  That might include cleaner power plants, alternative energy, efficiency measures or a mix of strategies.  National Grid Director of Sustainability Sandy Taft notes there really isn’t any federal policy on limiting carbon exhaust from electricity generating facilities. 

"We’ve long been a proponent of some kind of legislation or movement at the federal level to address greenhouse gas issues.  And lacking any federal initiative, we think it’s appropriate for the EPA to move forward with this body of regulations.  Overall we’re supportive of the approach the EPA is taking with regard to the Clean Power Plan.”

The public comment period on the EPA Carbon plan expired earlier this month.  National Grid joined more than 200 companies in support of the E-P-A proposal.  It would give each state until 2020 to enact measures to reduce carbon…an until 2030 to achieve the reductions. 

SOME OF THE DETAILS OF THE EPA CARBON PROPOSAL

   Nationwide, the Clean Power Plan will help cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

  • Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The proposal will also cut pollution that leads to soot and smog by over 25 percent in 2030.

   Americans will see billions of dollars in public health and climate benefits, now and for future generations.

  • The Clean Power Plan will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

   States and businesses have already charted the path toward cleaner, more efficient power.

  • States, cities and businesses are already taking action.
  • The Clean Power Plan puts states in the driver’s seat to a cleaner, more efficient power fleet of the future by giving them the flexibility to choose how to meet their goals.

   With EPA’s flexible proposal, we can cut wasted energy, improve efficiency, and reduce pollution – while still having all the power we need to grow our economy and maintain our competitive edge.

  • The agency’s proposal is flexible—reflecting the different needs of different states.
  • The proposal will put Americans to work making the U.S. electricity system less polluting and our homes and businesses more efficient, shrinking electricity bills by roughly 8 percent in 2030.
  • It will keep the United States—and more importantly our businesses—at the forefront of a global movement to produce and consume energy in a better, more sustainable way. 

Taft recalls the extreme weather events that have hit local residents – and National Grid’s electrical lines and other energy-delivery infrastructure.  He says in the northeast the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – or RGGI– is already moving states like New York in the right direction.

"With time, with RGGI, there is going to be a cap over time.  As those caps become less you’re going to see other alternatives come on board.  I agree with the term ‘balance’.  You’re going to need to have some amount of natural gas in the future mix, I think, to address those times where either the sun or the wind aren’t fully available to address our energy needs." 

There are federal restrictions enforced by the EPA for other emissions such as mercury and arsenic…but nothing for carbon.  The letter signed by all the companies went to the President, congress and the E-P-A to encourage Washington to pass the carbon pollution standard… and supporters say take a critical step toward a clean energy economy.