Policies: Emissions

A Brief on the Draft Amendment to Change Arizona's Energy Efficiency Resource Standard to a Goal

Published November 2014
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The essentials

  • The Arizona Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) requires regulated electric utilities with an annual revenue of more than $5 million to achieve a cumulative energy savings of 22 percent by 2020, based on historical customer demand. The incremental savings began in 2011 at 1.25% of the previous year’s retail sales. Regulated gas utilities have a similar requirement of 6 percent cumulative energy savings by 2020, also based on historical consumer demand.
  • On November 4th, 2014, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) staff filed a draft amendment to the state EERS that would have the effect of rescinding the mandatory Standard. Instead, gas and electric utilities would be allowed to determine their own custom energy efficiency goals each year, on the basis of cost-effectiveness, during their bi-annual integrated resource planning (IRP) process. The IRP is non-binding.
  • The public has until Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 to submit comments to the ACC regarding the proposal. (Comment submission information can be found at the end of this document).
  • Currently, the Societal Cost Test is used to verify all energy efficiency programs under the EERS. The amended goal would allow the Commission to use three other tests to determine cost effectiveness:

o   The Participant Cost Test

o   The Ratepayer Impact Cost Test

o   The Utility Cost Test

 

 

President Obama's Climate Change Action Plan Brief Sheet

Published February 2014
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Published February 2014

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The essentials

  • In June, 2013 President Obama released his Climate Action Plan.
  • The Plan has three broad categories.
    • First, reducing U.S. carbon emissions.  The President’s plan sets goals to reduce emissions from existing power plants, modernize the U.S. transportation sector, increase the U.S. clean energy portfolio, and increase energy efficiency in American homes and businesses.
    • Second, preparing the U.S. for the impacts of climate change. This is done by supporting climate-resilient investments, responding to major weather events, creating sustainable and resilient hospitals, maintaining agriculture productivity, and providing the tools for climate resilience.
    • Finally, engaging the world’s major economies to advance key climate priorities and in galvanizing global action through international climate negotiations.
  • What does this mean for Arizona?
    • It is hard to predict the full ramifications of the President’s climate action plan for any given state.  Arizona’s utilities and energy regulators will have to plan based on new federal regulations, such as the EPA’s current proposed caps on carbon emissions for new power plants.  Additionally, Arizona could see more federal funds become available to support sustainable agriculture or solar power.  As of now, the exact cost-benefit may be impossible to gauge.

NGS Part III: EPA's Proposed Regulations for the Navajo Generating Station update

Published September 2013
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The essentials

  • A comparison of the EPA’s Best Available Retrofit Technology rule requiring SCR against the Technical Work Group ‘s (TWG) two proposals.

NGS Part II: Proposed NOx Emissions Guidelines for the Navajo Generating Station

Published April 2013
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The essentials

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Regional Haze Rule, authorized under the Clean Air Act, requires a state or federal agency to draft plans to reduce haze and increase visibility in the nation’s National Parks.
  • On January 18, 2013, the EPA issued its air pollution limits proposal for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) due to its proximity to the Grand Canyon National Park and ten other Class I Federal protected areas, including seven other National Parks and Wilderness Areas. The NGS is one of the largest sources of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions in the United States.
  • Under these rules, NGS’s owners will be required to install Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology by 2018. Due to the NGS’s economic importance to several Native American tribes, the EPA is considering allowing a five-year extension for the installation.
  • UPDATE: The EPA is accepting public comments through August 5, 2013.

Navajo Generating Station Background Sheet: pre-EPA NOx and SO2 rulemaking

Published June 2012
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The essentials

  • The Navajo Generating Station (NGS) is a 2,250 megawatt coal-fired power plant located a few miles from the beginning of the Grand Canyon, within the Navajo Nation, near Page, Arizona
  • About 25% of the electricity generated at NGS is dedicated to pumping Central Arizona Project (CAP) water from the Colorado River from behind Parker Dam over 300 miles to metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.
  • The NGS draws its cooling water from nearby Lake Powell.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of issuing new guidelines restricting air pollutants from industrial facilities that restrict visibility, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NOX) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
  • The regional haze reduction guidelines will impact NGS operations, which in turn could impact community health and water quality locally, as well as water quality, water availability, and water rates in those areas served by the CAP.
  • It is feasible that these new guidelines may influence a decision to close NGS.

Mexico's General Law on Climate Change/Ley General de Cambio Climático

Published April 2012
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The essentials

  • Mexico recently passed the General Law on Climate Change, which may have impacts on energy policy decisions made in Arizona.  The Law calls for
    • Reducing CO2 emissions by 51 million tons by 2012
    • 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
    • A 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050;
    • 35% of electricity from renewable sources before 2024.
    • Mexico’s natural gas consumption has increased over 30% since 2000, and their oil consumption dropped 30% over the same time. Mexico’s energy use from renewable sources remains static at 4%.
    • The 35% national renewable energy standard presents export opportunities for Arizona while Mexico builds its renewable energy infrastructure.