Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Keystone XL, Korea ETS, Fracking Rules, Clean Energy Standard

by | May 4, 2012

TransCanada is expected to reapply for its US permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline as soon as today, with a new route planned through Nebraska. The company has previously disclosed plans to construct a segment from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Texas, which does not require a presidential permit, the Washington Post said.

South Korea has approved a national emissions trading scheme, despite strong industry opposition. The cap-and-trade program is expected to start in January 2015, with companies trading permits or buying offsets from U.N.-backed clean energy projects in poorer nations, the Baltimore Sun said.

The Department of Interior today is expected to release proposed regulations covering fracking on public lands. The rules are expected to require the disclosure of chemicals used in drilling, and regulations on well integrity and wastewater management, The Hill said.

An Energy Information Administration analysis of the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 indicates that electricity rates would not increase in the first ten years that the standard is in effect. The proposal requires large retail utilities to obtain 24 percent of electricity from renewable resources by 2015, and increase this quota by 3 percent each year through 2035, North American Windpower said.

Quebec governmental departments and agencies have not instituted changes necessary to reach its GHG emission reduction target of 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, a report from the province’s sustainable development commissioner found. Also in jeopardy is an additional reduction of 14 percent from 2013-2020, the Montreal Gazette said.

The UK and the EU must prepare for uncertain water resources, as well as cost increases for water, a UK parliamentary subcommittee reports. The Lords Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment EU Sub-Committee said that urgent action is required to safeguard water quality and availability in the UK and parts of Europe already impacted by a lack of rain.

New World Bank data suggests that the US shale energy industry is behind the first global rise in waste gas flaring since 2008. In 2011, global gas flaring increased by about 2 billion cubic meters, attributed to shale oil exploration in North Dakota, Reuters said.

US power grid operator PJM has asked for reliability-must-run arrangements from FirstEnergy on three Ohio coal-fired plants. The plants, which together generate about 885 MW, were slated for retirement this year, Reuters said.

New Jersey has launched a competitive grant program, the Large Scale Combined Heat and Power (CHP)/Fuel Cell Program, to support CHP and standalone fuel cell projects. The state has set aside $20 million for the program, and awards are capped at $3 million per project, Green Car Congress said.

Three businesses, Jazmin Family Trust, GLACS and Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, will pay fines totaling $141,200 for failing to close large-capacity cesspools at commercial properties and a coffee plantation visitor center on the island of Hawaii. The EPA said that in enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, new large capacity cesspool construction after April 2000 is prohibited, and existing large cesspools had to be closed by April 2005.

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