Monday, November 30, 2015

PA Doesn’t Have That Far To Go To Meet EPA Clean Power Climate Plan Emission Limits

With the United Nations Climate Conference beginning in Paris this week, it might be a good time to review where Pennsylvania is in reducing climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and how much more the state has to do to meet the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan.  Just consider--
-- 27 Million Ton Reduction Already: The final EPA Clean Power Climate Plan requires Pennsylvania to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million tons annually by 2022 (7 years from now) and another 15 million tons annually by 2030 (15 years from now).
Carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania have already been reduced by 27 million tons annually in just 7 years, a 20 percent from 2007 to 2014, to a total of about 107 million tons annually.
The reductions came primarily as a result of switching from coal to natural gas to generate electricity and additional EPA controls on mercury emissions at coal-fired power plants.
The first milestone in the EPA Clean Power rule is 2022 which requires Pennsylvania to reduce CO2 emissions to 106 million tons, about 1 million tons below where the state is now.  
By 2030, the state must take steps to reduce emissions to 91 million tons, only about 15 million tons more.
-- PA Use Of Natural Gas For Electric Power Generation Still Increasing: From 1997 to 2013 natural gas use to generate electricity increased from 3 percent to 38 percent, according to the Public Utility Commission.  About 10,003 MW of generating capacity is now fueled by natural gas in Pennsylvania with another 11,609 MW of new generating capacity being proposed, although not all of the proposed capacity is typically built.
-- Coal Switch Happening Anyway: In July 2014, DEP acknowledged in a presentation before the Citizens Advisory Council that coal use in Pennsylvania could drop by 75 percent by 2030 anyway, without the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan, due to the switch to natural gas for electric power generation because of market conditions, if natural gas prices remain about the same.
For more information, visit DEP’s Climate Change webpage.
Op-Ed: Climate Change A National Security Threat, Tom Ridge

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