Clean-Power Compliance Planning for West Virginia

by Duane Nichols on June 17, 2015


From an Article by David Beard, Morgantown Dominion Post, June 16, 2015

While the fight against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan continues in the halls of Congress and in federal courts, a report issued Monday suggests ways the State of West Virginia can comply with the plan and still maintain a sound economy.

The report — “The Clean Power Plan and West Virginia: Compliance Options and New Economic Opportunities” — comes from WVU law school’s Center for Energy & Sustainable Development and Morgantown-based consultants Downstream Strategies.

Center Director James Van Nostrand, Downstream President Evan Hansen, Center Fellow Beren Argetsinger and Downstream scientist Joseph James are the authors.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan prescribes a range of pollution control measures to reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 30 percent of their 2005 levels – 20 percent for West Virginia. The final rule is due out this summer. This past week, a federal panel set aside a multistate legal challenge led by West Virginia, saying it’s too early to decide the case.

In a release accompanying the report, Van Nostrand cautioned, “Once the final rule is issued, states will likely have only one year to file plans describing how the required CO2 emission reductions will be achieved. Future legal challenges may not be settled for years, and if West Virginia waits that long to develop a state plan, EPA could just step in and implement a federal plan.”

They hope the report will provide some tools for legislators and regulators as the plan unfolds, they said. They acknowledge that the plan means less coal will be mined and burned, miners will lose jobs and severance taxes will shrink. But West Virginia can meet the challenge, they say.

>>> Five scenarios <<< The report looks at five scenarios to comply with the plan.

>> “Business as Usual” takes into account current and planned coal power plant closures and a planned natural gas plant near Moundsville, with no additional gas plants and little expansion of renewables. Coal makes up about 89 percent of the fuel mix by 2030.

>> Based on HB 2004, passed in the recent legislative session, “Inside the Fenceline” relies on the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to draw up a plan based on more efficient coal-powered plants. HB 2004 precludes the use of fuel switching, demand-side energy efficiency, renewables and other options. This also fails to meet plan requirements.

>> “Reduced Export” relies on reducing the amount of coal sent to other states. Under an option permitted by the plan, the report says, West Virginia can reduce its emissions by reducing its exports.

>> The authors favor the final two scenarios — variant versions of “All of the Above.” Under these options, natural gas co-firing (coal and gas alternating as needed), increases; another natural gas plant joins the Moundsville plant; renewables and local combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants play a bigger role. Coal drops to about 75 percent of the total fuel load, gas ranges from 4 percent to 9 percent; renewables make up about 9 percent; and CHP ranges from 2 percent to 7 percent.

<<< Policy suggestions >>>

The report makes a number of policy recommendations, including reducing the restrictions on a state plan as mandated in HB 2004.

Another is to adopt an energy-efficiency resource standard. It notes that FirstEnergy and American Electric in other states must offer energy-efficiency programs. Such requirements in West Virginia could save ratepayers money and reduce energy demand. The full report can be found here on the Internet.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Skylark (6/17/15) June 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm

RE: Tanker accident & explosion in Greenbrier County on June 10th ……

NOTE — “The trailer was a tanker unit, however, it was empty at the time of impact. No fuel spill was determined by the Emergency Disaster Response unit.”

Did you notice the inconsistency here, an “empty tank” explodes in flames. Obviously, it wasn’t empty. So, now the general public needs to know that significant dangers exist with both full and “empty” tanker trucks!


WBOY News 12 (6/2/15) June 18, 2015 at 11:18 pm

1 Taken to UHC After Water Truck Crashes Into Doddridge County Barn

By Lauren Talotta, News 12, Clarksburg, June 2, 2015

The Doddridge County Sheriff’s Department is investigating what caused a water truck to crash into a barn early Tuesday morning.

Central Communications said it happened around 3 a.m. on Maxwell Ridge, which is located off WV Route 18.

The Doddridge County Ambulance Authority took the driver of the truck to United Hospital Center. No word on his name or condition. Volunteer fire departments from West Union, Bancs, and Smithburg also responded to the scene. 


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