Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DEP: Climate Action Plan Update Broader Than Meeting EPA Clean Power Climate Rule

On January 12 DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee will meet for the second time on a draft update to Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan mandated by Act 70 of 2008.
The Committee has been working on a series of 13 different work plans and recommendations since the last update was issued in December of 2013.
The draft update presented to the Committee in November, which will be revised for the January 12 meeting, says the Climate Action Plan is different from the implementation plan required to meet EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan regulations.
“...(T)he Commonwealth is still in the early stages of developing its final implementation plan (for the Clean Power Rule) so it is not a component of the Climate Action Plan.  However, many of the carbon strategies for electricity within this document should ultimately support the development of the state’s plan.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday the Wolf Administration will rely much more heavily on increasing the use of alternative wind, solar and renewable energy, controlling methane leaks from pipelines and coal mines, more efficient use of energy, new forest preserves and more waste made into useful energy in the new Climate Plan update.
DEP Secretary John Quigley was quoted as saying relying on the carbon benefits of burning natural gas instead of coal is short-sighted.
“There is opportunity to grow the renewable energy economy and one of the drivers that we should be using is natural gas,” which he called the perfect complement to intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar because it can be dispatched quickly to respond to demand.
At a press conference in early November, Secretary Quigley credited the switch from coal to natural gas for electric generation as the primary reason greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 27 million tons a year from 2007 to 2014 to about 107 million tons and put the state within reasonable striking distance of the meeting EPA’s Clean Power Climate Plan reductions.
He said 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).
DEP is distilling the information gleaned from its 14 listening sessions on EPA’s Clean Power rule to put together the required 16 million ton emission reduction limit for Pennsylvania, according to Quigley.
The January 12 meeting of the Advisory Committee will be in the 12th Floor Conference Room, Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg.  The meetings normally begin at 10:00.  The last meeting was available through WEBEX online, but no information was provided yet on the next meeting.
For more information and other reports and documents released by DEP on climate, visit DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee webpage or contact Mark Brojakowski, DEP, 717-772-3429 or send email to: mbrojakows@pa.gov.
Editorial: Climate Pact Path Murky

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