Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Utility Sues State of New York over CO2

Indeck Corinth L.P., an electric utility company in Corinth, NY, filed a lawsuit on January 29, 2009 in New York state court against New York Governor David Paterson, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and New York State Public Service Commission.  The lawsuit seeks Declaratory and Injunctive relief, and asks the court to find that the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) is ultra vires, and unconstitutional, among other things. 

Indeck states in its complaint that its Corinth power generating plant burns natural gas, a clean-burning fuel, and produces both steam and electricity in one of the most efficient power plants in New York.   

As a natural gas-burning power plant with steam sales, it will be extremely difficult for Indeck to reduce its CO2 emissions as required under a cap-and-trade program under RGGI.  Indeck cannot substitute natural gas for coal, as it burns no coal.   Such fuel substitution is one way to emit less CO2 for a given amount of power and steam produced.  

The lawsuit is in the initial stages, but will be watched closely by myself and others around the country. 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 
Climate Change Attorney
Mr. Sowell may be reached at his legal website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Renewables in Outer Continental Shelf

Renewable energy production is a hot topic, with land-based solar installations, windfarms, bio-mass systems, and geothermal systems receiving attention and investment capital.   All of the above renewables have something to recommend them, primarily the fact that the energy source is free.  The drawbacks are numerous, including that they are intermittent and therefore unreliable, they are inadequate even when fully exploited (geothermal, bio-mass), too costly for the amount of energy produced, and too dispersed (wind, solar). 

Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Interior, Mineral Mining Service, in their January 2009 Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program 2010 – 2015, there is plenty of power in the waves and wind offshore.    MMS is offering leases in the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable energy systems, primarily wave and wind, but also ocean current systems off the southeast tip of Florida.   The MMS stated:

“Wind Energy Resources: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that more than 900,000 megawatts (GW), close to the total current installed U.S. electrical capacity, of potential wind energy exists off the coasts of the United States, often near major population centers, where energy costs are high and land-based wind development opportunities are limited. Slightly more than half of the country’s identified offshore wind potential is located off the New England and Mid-Atlantic Coasts, where water depths generally deepen gradually with distance from the shore. Development of offshore wind energy technologies has the potential to provide up to 70,000 MW of domestic generating capacity to the nation’s electric grid by 2025.

Wave Energy Resources: The total annual average wave energy off the U.S. coastlines, calculated at a water depth of 60 meters, has been estimated at 2,100 Terawatt-hours (TWh). Capturing the energy of ocean waves in offshore locations has been demonstrated as technically feasible, and basic research to develop improved designs of wave energy conversion devices is being conducted in regions such as near the Oregon coast, which is a high wave energy resource. Compared with other forms of offshore renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, or ocean current, wave energy is continuous but highly variable, although wave levels at a given location can be confidently predicted several days in advance.”   -- MMS Draft Proposed Program, January 20, 2009, pg. 13.

The highly variable aspect of offshore wind and wave power production can and will be mitigated by appropriate storage, possibly advanced batteries or capacitors, pumped storage hydroelectric, compressed air energy storage, or advanced flywheel storage systems.   Energy storage allows excess energy produced to be stored until such time as the power load increases.  Typically, the power load is low at night, and increases during the day due to people being awake and going about their work.  However, wave and wind resources do not follow the day/night power load curve, hence the need for energy storage until needed.  Plus, as any sailor can attest, wind often dies out for hours, even days at a time. 

The 2,100 TWh for wave power quoted above is approximately 7 times the total electrical power consumed in California in 2007,  or roughly 70 percent of all the electrical power consumed in the U.S. for the year.   Offshore wind power can easily make up the other 30 percent. 

Installing renewables in the OCS will profoundly change the American economy, and the world.  One such change is that nuclear power plants can be forever shut down in the U.S., and their toxic wastes disposed of once and for all time.  Another is that imported oil can be reduced to zero, as the vehicle fleet is converted to electric power plus petroleum-electric plug-in hybrids.   Yet another is that imported LNG can be reduced to zero, for the same reasons as oil.  When the U.S. no longer imports oil from the Middle East, major foreign policy issues will be re-examined.  A huge source of revenue to the Middle East will be gone forever.   The balance of trade will be affected, as the huge sums currently spent on importing hydrocarbons will be available for domestic use. 

The electric power from domestic waters in the OCS has great potential, and the MMS is correct in offering leases in these waters.   

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 

Mr. Sowell may be reached at his legal website.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Busted Earth Hour

Update 4/4/09  The graph for today's power demand during the day is shown at the left, with the original graph from Earth Hour Saturday, March 28, shown on the right.  These are taken directly from www.caiso.com, so the y-axis scaling is different.  However, the tail of each curve (to the right of each graph) shows the same shape, a rise around 20:00 hours (8 p.m.), and then a gentle decrease through the 9, 10, and 11 p.m. hours.  Thus, there was no difference in California energy usage during Earth Hour and a normal Saturday night.    Earth Hour was a bust. 

Update 4/2/09  Several people want to know how the Earth Hour Saturday night power graph compared to previous Saturday nights.  I took a look at www.caiso.com in their data archives, and found that the previous two Saturdays show almost the exact curve: same time of peak, same decrease to midnight.  But the week earlier, March 7, showed a peak one hour earlier, at 7 p.m. then the gentle decline to midnight.  I would guess a popular tv show came on one hour earlier.  

Also, CAISO has separate data for each major utility, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E.  PG&E is Pacific Gas and Electric in the San Francisco Bay area, SCE is Southern California Edison in the Los Angeles area, and SDG&E is San Diego Gas & Electric in San Diego area.   All three utilities showed remarkably similar demand curves, with no step-changes around Earth Hour.  
(Original Post)
Today, March 28, 2009, a move was underway to show support for the environment by turning off lights worldwide for one hour from 8:30 until 9:30 p.m.  I myself left the house around 5 p.m. to visit friends, have dinner, see a movie, then enjoy a cup of coffee afterward.  But I left the lights on in the house, plus the stereo, and lights on out back and at the front porch.  I returned around 11 p.m. so I did not personally see any lights go out.  I was inside a rather dark movie theatre (by the way, Duplicity is a pretty good flick).  

I did wonder how much effect, if any, Earth Hour 2009 had on  California's power grid, so I downloaded the graph shown to the right.  This is from www.caiso.com, the California Independent System Operator.  CAISO is in charge of receiving power from power generating plants, and distributing the power throughout the state grid to the various end users.  

The light gray line is the forecasted power usage, shown in Megawatts.  The red line is the actual power consumed.  Around 1900 hours, 7 p.m., the load was approximately 24,000 MW.  By 8:00, the load increased smoothly to just over 26,000 MW.  Then the load began a steady decrease right on through the night, ending at around 22,000 MW at almost midnight.  

There was no apparent decrease in the power load throughout the state, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.  No step changes, nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  

I am glad to see that nothing happened.   Maybe, just maybe, Californians have some sense after all.  

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 

Contact Mr. Sowell at his legal website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

AB 32 and Emissions Offsets for Power Generation

What does an electric power provider do, when faced with the following:

1) A growing population and growing electric demand in its service area;

2) A critical shortage of air emissions reduction credits (ERC's);

3) An air quality agency that requires any new source of air pollution to provide an equal or greater reduction in air pollution within the jurisdiction;

4) Power generation technology that emits a certain amount of pollutants, unless one wants to install intermittent and unreliable forms of generation such as solar and/or wind;

5) No possibility of building a nuclear power plant, as that is banned by state law;

6) No possibility of building a coal-fired power plant, as that is banned by state law;

7) No possibility of building a gas-fired power plant unless it is of the high-efficiency, combined-cycle cogeneration design;

8) Environmental Justice groups that vehemently oppose cap-and-trade, in which emissions from polluters in their neighborhood are allowed to continue while reductions are made somewhere else, likely far away;

9) Environmental attorneys who file lawsuits to block the permitting and construction of badly-needed new power plants; claiming that previously obtained offsets (ERCs) are invalid; and

10) An ever-growing number of wind-turbines, which produce power primarily at night when the electric load is lowest.

If only the engineers or scientists or economists could develop a safe technology to solve all of the above, seemingly mutually-exclusive requirements.

Is there a solution, that provides the missing emission reduction credits, reduces emissions from new power plants at their site and not someplace far away, and absorbs excess electric power from wind-turbines?

Such a solution exists and was proposed by Mr. Sowell, and it is as follows.

A gas-fired combustor, such as those found in large gas-turbines, burns much cleaner with respect to NOx and CO (nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide) when the natural gas fuel is supplemented with gaseous hydrogen in the amount of 10 to 15 percent. The amount of emissions reductions is on the order of two-thirds.

Thus, using round numbers, an existing power plant that emits 300 tons of pollutants per day would emit only 100 tons per day with this modification. The other 200 tons per day could be converted to emission reduction credits, properly verified, and applied toward two new power plants of the same output. The two new power plants would also emit 100 tons per day each. For our hypothetical power utility, if 10 new power plants are needed, then it would need to retrofit 5 existing power plants to obtain the emissions reduction credits.

Retrofitting existing power plants to burn hydrogen is not cheap, but it can be done. Building new power plants with the hydrogen-burning capability is much less expensive.

Obtaining hydrogen to burn in the power plants is not difficult, but it is expensive. Traditionally, the lowest-cost form of industrial hydrogen is from steam methane reforming, known as SMR. The SMR process uses natural gas both as a feedstock, and as fuel for heat. The feedstock is chemically converted to hydrogen and CO2. The SMR plants therefore also need emission reduction credits, so this alternative is not suitable.

But there is another way to produce hydrogen, and that is from electrolysis of water. Electrolysis uses a great amount of electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The technology is not new, but is well-proven over decades of use. The high cost of electric power results in the high hydrogen price from electrolysis.

But, wind-turbines can provide very low-cost power for water electrolyzers. Where wind-turbines generate power at night, the off-peak price of power decreases to a relatively low level. This low-cost off-peak power can be used by water electrolyzers to produce hydrogen. During the day, when power prices increase, the water electrolyzers can be throttled back to some minimum production rate and thereby minimize operating costs. At night, the water electrolyzers would be pushed to full capacity, taking advantage of the low-cost power.

The hydrogen produced would be compressed and stored until needed. The compression and storage of hydrogen are also very well-known and safe technologies, having been perfected over many decades by the chemical and oil refining industries.

California, especially that portion of Southern California that is within the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, SCAQMD, faces precisely the situation described above. The state has mandated under the Renewable Portfolio Standard that at least 20 percent of all power sold in the state by December 2010 must be from renewable sources. Further, by 2020, 33 percent must be from renewable sources. While not all of the new renewable energy will be from wind-turbines, a good portion of it will be. Other renewable power will be obtained from solar, from geothermal, from bio-mass, and from solid waste such as landfills.

In Southern California, the wind typically blows strongest at night, as the deserts cool off and draw air inland from the coast. The wind passes through various mountain passes, where wind-turbines are installed. The night winds cause the off-peak electrical power generation described earlier, and may result in the gas-fired power plants shutting down at night in order to maintain proper balance of the electrical load. Such stopping and starting of gas-fired power plants is not good from a mechanical and maintenance standpoint, as it is less stressful on the power plants to run more or less continuously.

The solution is fairly elegant, in that many problems are solved at once. The new power plants obain their badly-needed emission reduction credits, excess wind-power is used to good account, and Environmental Justice stakeholders obtain less pollution, both from existing power plants and from new power plants.

The solution is before us; now it remains to be seen if it is in fact implemented, and how soon.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Mr. Sowell is a Climate Change attorney, with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He may be contacted at his legal website.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

AB 32 and Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Under California's recent law to control economic activity in an attempt to place slightly less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, AB 32, a significant feature is the extremely controversial Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).   

The Air Resources Board, ARB, published more than 700 pages last week, providing in some detail the description and calculations that went into the LCFS.  

ARB has contradicted itself with the ethanol portion of the LCFS, by claiming on the one hand that adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline reduces CO2, then stating in the detailed calculations that manufacturing ethanol produces more CO2 than is reduced when vehicles burn the ethanol. 

The LCFS is designed to change transportation fuels, gasoline and diesel, away from fossil-fuel based hydrocarbons and toward less carbon intensive fuels.   Gasoline is to contain 10 percent by volume ethanol by 2020.   The LCFS is already controversial, and at least one lawsuit was filed against ARB over LCFS.  Part of the controversy is that ethanol from agriculture is to be blended into gasoline.  Ethanol from fermentation is not a low-carbon process, as ARB spells out in some detail.  In fact, ARB concludes that ethanol from fermentation of corn is a net positive producer of greenhouse gases, GHG.   This arises because manufacturing ethanol from corn fermentation places approximately 1.17 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere for every 1.0 pound of petroleum-derived CO2 removed from the atmosphere. 

For some high-level perspective, the LCFS contribution to the entire AB 32 carbon reduction (169 MMTCO2e/y) is 15 MMTCO2e/y, a bit under 10 percent of the total.  For comparison, 169 is 3o percent of California's emissions expected in 2020, and California's emissions are 2 percent of the world's emissions.  Thus, the LCFS, even if fully implemented and as effective as ARB states it will be, will reduce world-wide CO2e emissions by 10 percent of 30 percent of 2 percent, or 0.06 percent.   From a cost/benefit analysis, one could question whether such a small benefit, 0.06 percent of world emissions, is justified by the huge costs.  

One of the most controversial aspects of the LCFS is the determination of energy consumed to produce a gallon of ethanol, ready for blending into California gasoline.  ARB calculated and summed together the energy requirements for farming, agricultural chemicals, harvested corn transportation to corn refineries, ethanol production in the refineries, ethanol transportation via rail and trucks to California, and distribution to gasoline blending points.  The energy required for all those activities is 97 Btu for each 100 Btu obtained from burning ethanol in an engine.   

Then, ARB deducted 10 Btu by allowing for energy content of non-ethanol co-products from the corn refineries.  Such co-products include DGGS, a granular feed suitable for livestock.   The net energy then was 87 Btu per 100 Btu ethanol.  

The next, and most controversial step in the view of many, is that ARB added 30 Btu per 100 Btu ethanol for land use changes, for a total of 117 Btu per 100 Btu ethanol.  The land use changes are included to account for deforestation to convert land to corn cultivation.   

For comparison, production of gasoline and diesel requires approximately 18 Btu per 100 Btu produced upon burning.   

What is interesting is that ARB takes great pains to account for energy inputs, co-products, and land-change effects for ethanol production, but does not do the same for petroleum-based gasoline.    For example, oil refineries are similar in some respects to corn refineries, in that they both have multiple products.  Not all of the products are fuels.   As stated earlier, corn refineries make ethanol, a fuel, and DGGS, an animal feed.  Similarly, oil refineries produce gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, propane and butane, and petroleum coke, all of which are burned as fuel.  However, oil refineries also produce a significant portion of their yield as products which are never burned.  These products include lubricating oils, waxes, asphalts, solvents, and petrochemical feedstocks.  

It is of course true that California oil refineries do not manufacture petrochemical feedstocks, nor is their lubricating oil and wax production significant.  They do, however, produce asphalt.    This inconsistency in ARB's approach to energy analysis is puzzling.  

Another aspect of the LCFS is trading and banking carbon intensity credits.  A carbon intensity credit will be issued for those who go beyond the mandated low-carbon levels for transportation fuels.  The mandated carbon intensity levels will decrease over time.    This is similar to a cap and trade scheme.  The carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel will decrease, starting in 2011, and become 10 percent less by 2020.   The year 2010 is a reporting-only year. 

Yet another aspect of the LCFS is the range of transportation fuels that are included.  As shown below, this is not limited to gasoline and diesel fuel.  The fuels included are:

• California reformulated gasoline;
• California ultralow sulfur diesel fuel;
• Compressed or liquefied natural gas;
• Electricity;
• Compressed or liquefied hydrogen;
• Any fuel blend containing hydrogen;
• Any fuel blend containing greater than 10 percent ethanol by volume;
• Any fuel blend containing biomass-based diesel;
• Neat denatured ethanol;
• Neat biomass-based diesel; and
• Any other liquid or non-liquid fuel not otherwise exempted from the regulation. 

An interesting aspect of the proposed regulation is the Opt-In provision, under which providers of the following transportation fuels may generate carbon credits for sale:

• Electricity;
• Hydrogen and hydrogen blends;
• Fossil CNG derived from North American sources;
• Biogas CNG; and
• Biogas LNG.

There is a reporting and record keeping requirement, with reports made quarterly and annually via an internet-based system to be provided by ARB.  

A complication in the regulation is the determination by each regulated entity of the carbon intensity for its specific method of producing the low-carbon fuel.  As an example, there are several processes for ethanol, including dry-mill corn, wet-mill corn, and cellulosic ethanol.  ARB provides two alternatives for carbon-intensity calculation: first, one may use ARB's pre-determined numbers for a specific pathway, and second, one may obtain ARB approval for calculations for unique processes.  

The public comment period is now open for the LCFS, and ARB is accepting comments at this website.

The ARB will hear the matter on April 23, 2009, and will very likely adopt the standard at that time.  

Nothing in this comment is to be construed as, nor is it intended to be, legal advice, and nothing written here creates an attorney-client relationship. Anyone seeking legal advice should consult a qualified attorney.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 
Climate Change Attorney
To contact Mr. Sowell, click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Legal Challenges to Global Warming Legislation

Overturning or repealing environmental legislation such as California's AB 32 is the subject of this essay.

There are various bases upon which lawsuits may be filed against government agencies, states, and the federal government.  

One such basis is that the law is unconstitutional. The first step in such a lawsuit is to prove that the plaintiff has standing to bring the lawsuit. The plaintiff must show actual harm, or imminent harm, and that defendant's actions are the actual and proximate cause of that harm, further, that a favorable ruling by the court will redress the wrong. There are other aspects of standing, which I will not go into here.

After showing one has proper standing, showing the law is unconstitutional is rather difficult with an environmental regulation. Such regulations are accorded Rational Basis scrutiny. This means the plaintiff has the burden to show that the regulation is not rationally related to a legitimate government interest. Protecting the environment, and people's health, are legitimate government interests. Even a small amount of science is sufficient to form a rational relationship to that government interest.  

Attacking the science is one avenue, and may be successful, but in the case of global warming, aka climate change, this will prove exceedingly difficult due to the vast amount of peer-reviewed publications and the stature of the eminent scientists who authored those studies. Although, it would be quite interesting to hear the eminent scientists under oath, explaining some of the inconsistencies that are regularly discussed on this blog, and others such as WattsUpWithThat.com, and Climate Audit.  

A better chance of success exists by showing that the regulation poses an undue burden on those who are regulated, as for example, forcing an industry to invest many billions of dollars to achieve a $2 benefit. There is a cost/benefit analysis involved. Testimony by experts as to costs, and likely benefits, is required.  

Because almost every thing is harmful to some portion of the population, even in small quantities, it is not a question of zero harm, but how much harm is to be accepted.  

A third prong of attack is the timetable for compliance. The regulated entities as plaintiffs may be able to show that a short timetable is overly burdensome, and thereby gain more time to comply. As examples, reducing lead in gasoline took several years, and reducing acid rain precursors from power plants also required several years.  

A fourth avenue of attack is one that Tesoro Refining and Marketing took in suing the California Air Resources Board over bio-fuels in gasoline. This avenue alleges that the regulation is inconsistent with the enabling legislation. The enabling legislation is very broad, with few specifics. However, the regulations are very specific and detailed.  

For AB 32 in California, the broad legislation is AB 32 itself, aka Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. That was passed by both houses of California's legislature, then signed into law by Governor Schwarzennegger. The regulations to implement AB 32 are written by California's Air Resources Board, with input and advice from other state agencies, and the public.  

Tesoro's claim (paraphrased) is that the broad legislation requires each specific implementation measure to be effective in reducing greenhouse gases, but producing ethanol from farm crops (corn) consumes as much energy as, or more than, is produced by burning ethanol in vehicle engines. Thus, there is no net reduction in CO2 to the atmosphere.  

A fifth avenue is to pass additional legislation to repeal the first law, or to modify the first law such that the impact is lessened. Two bills are currently proposed in California to repeal or soften AB 32.  

On the national level, the EPA now must consider CO2 as a pollutant capable of being regulated under the Clean Air Act. This is from the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007). President Bush's EPA did little in this area, but President Obama has directed the EPA to move smartly on it. Given the strength of a Supreme Court ruling, even though it was a 5-4 decision, potential lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of a greenhouse gas law will likely fail.  

The best plaintiffs can hope for are some of the other available avenues described above.  

Obtaining irrefutable evidence that increased CO2 and other greenhouse gases are not warming the globe would greatly improve the success of such lawsuits. As examples, advancing or stabilized glaciers, increasing or stabilized ice caps, cooling global temperatures, and stabilized or falling sea levels all would emphatically refute the theory that atmospheric greenhouse gases cause global warming and the associated adverse consequences that are regularly broadcast in the media. Some of the adverse consequences are ill health from warmer air, the spread of tropical diseases, flooding in coastal zones, saltation of fresh coastal waters, and more intense tropical storms and hurricanes.

Nothing in this comment is to be construed as, nor is it intended to be, legal advice, and nothing written here creates an attorney-client relationship. Anyone seeking legal advice should consult a qualified attorney.

Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 
Climate Change Attorney
To contact Mr. Sowell, click here for his website.

Monday, March 9, 2009

AB 32 Hits Poor Hardest

AB 32 will have a serious and disproportional impact on low-income and fixed-income citizens.  Those who advocate for Environmental Justice (EJ) have some valid points in their comments to the Air Resources Board, but have overlooked a few critical issues.

The EJ commenters on the Scoping Plan did not favor cap-and-trade, because that system allows a local emitter to continue placing regulated compounds into the environment, while the reductions occur elsewhere.  This does little good to the local residents who suffer the health consequences, such as breathing difficulties, or premature deaths.   As the discussions to date have shown, California will have a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.  The poor, who live rather close to many industrial sites, will continue to be exposed to higher levels of various regulated substances.   

Where additional disproportionate impacts will occur is with higher fuel prices and higher electricity prices, and the commensurate higher prices of all goods and services.  These issues have received little discussion. (but see this recent article). 

AB 32’s Scoping Plan states that prices for new cars will increase $300 per vehicle, but the increased gas mileage will more than offset the increased car price plus the increased cost of fuel.  The poor generally do not purchase new cars, so this will not help them.

AB 32 requires bio-fuels or hydrogen or electric cars to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.  The bio-fuels will increase the price of gasoline.  Bio-fuels in gasoline also decrease the miles per gallon achieved by a car.   AB 32's Scoping Plan states that hybrid vehicles will help to reduce the overall gasoline and diesel use, but again, this does not help the poor who seldom can afford a new car, especially not a high-priced hybrid. Thus, the poor will be paying the higher price of gasoline.  The poor generally purchase used cars, so they must wait until the high mpg or hybrid vehicles are available as a used car and at a price they can afford.  That may be a wait of several years.  All that time, they are paying higher prices for gasoline, and being hit hardest once again.

Similarly for diesel trucks, the fuel price will increase with bio-fuel addition, yet the delivery truck fleet will not convert overnight to hybrid trucks.  The additional cost of delivering goods will be passed on as higher prices for goods on the shelves.  The poor will have no choice but to pay the higher prices.   All consumers will pay higher prices, but the poor will be hit hardest.

Electric power prices will also increase as the RPS, Renewable Portfolio Standard, is implemented.  Increasing the renewable portion of power production from the current 12 percent to 20 percent by 2012, and by 33 percent by 2020, will increase the cost of electric power.   Furthermore, the imported power from coal-fired plants must be phased out, and likely will be replaced with renewable power.  The Scoping Plan uses 12 percent as the power price increase, yet it will likely be much more.  The high cost of electricity will impact the poor, especially those who rent rather than own their homes, or live in rented apartments.  Renters have little choice in replacing appliances, which is what AB 32 relies on to counter the increased cost of electricity. 

Similarly for businesses who rent office or manufacturing space, the increased cost of electricity will be passed on to customers as higher prices for goods and services.   It may be possible for business who lease commercial space to persuade building owners to install more efficient heating and air conditioning, and lighting, but that will likely increase the lease payment.  The business owner would pass along the higher costs.  Again, the poor will be hit the hardest by having no choice but to pay the higher price. 

Thanks to AB 32, the poor, who live with no excess income, will find that increases in prices of energy, food, necessities, and medical products will hit hard.    Where is the Environmental Justice in that?

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.  

Contact Mr. Sowell at his website.