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.

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