Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Social Cost of Carbon, Car CO2 Rules, FERC Chair

by | Nov 27, 2013

The White House is releasing a technical support document that shows the data behind the increase in the social cost of carbon, The Hill reports. The document, once published in the Federal Register, will be open for public comment for 60 days.

The world’s second-biggest carbon market will start next month with the launch of a cap-and-trade system in China’s Guangdong province, Reuters reports. The program will cap carbon dioxide emissions from 202 companies at 350 million tons for 2013, with most permits handed out free. The government will also auction 29 million permits for this year, and the China Emissions Exchange will start a secondary permit market.

The EPA has appointed its first “scientific integrity official“: Francesca Grifo, former director of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director of the Center for Environmental Research at Columbia University. The appointment is an attempt to fight back against Republican charges that the agency uses “secret science” to justify its regulations, Reuters says.

The European Union agreed a deal on CO2 rules for cars, delaying full implementation of the 95 grams per kilometer limit from 2020 to 2021. The rule also gives more flexibility to German luxury car makers such as Daimler and BMW, Reuters reports. The EU previously reached a deal on the rules in June, but tossed out the agreement after pressure from Germany.

President Obama has named Cheryl LaFleur acting chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Former chairman Jon Wellinghoff stepped down on Sunday, The Hill reports.

The Energy Department proposed a rule to increase energy efficiency for electric motors and widen the scope of motors covered by its efficiency rules. The proposal requires that, with the exception of fire pump electric motors, all currently regulated motors satisfy the efficiency levels prescribed inTable 12-12 and Table 20-B of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s MG1-2011 standard. DOE will hold a public meeting on the rule on December 11. 

The EPA approved Texas’ revised clean-air plan, covering public notification requirements for facilities applying for air permits. Under the plan, citizens will be notified when a facility applies for a permit and after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality proposes a draft permit. Facilities will have to provide expanded technical documents to ensure citizens and interested groups have as much information as possible on proposed permits.

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