Federal and state regulators continue to pile on the environmental regulations. The Department of Ecology may be delaying development of a new Surface Water Quality Standard but the Department of Commerce is moving ahead with a new Emissions Performance Standard for baseload electricity generation. Utilities and manufacturers are concerned.
Natural gas generators may be cleaner than oil or gas electricity generators but if done wrong, a new EPS could shut down generators required to supplement wind generators, and discourage new investment in Washington State. Done right, a new standard will ensure new generators and upgrades are more efficient and further reduce greenhouse gases.
On Monday the agency met with utility, industry, and environmental representatives to discuss he potential impacts of reducing the current standard from 1100 pounds per megawatt-hour to 975. Utility representatives in particular challenged the agency analysis and all agreed to continue the discussion.
The agency still plans to propose a new EPS rule in September with adoption planned for the end of October.
For further details see http://www.commerce.wa.gov/site/1390/default.aspx .