| clean air regulation advances
Defend the New EPA Rules
by ROBERT uKEILEY
robert ukeiley (rukeiley
@ igc.org) is a lawyer
who represents environmental nonprofits in
clean air act litigation
affecting energy issues.
The u.s. environmental Protection agency (ePa) has finalized three clean air act rules that can be key to leveling the economic playing field
between dirty energy and clean energy. ePa has finalized the Mercury and air toxics standard (Mats), the
cross-state air Pollution rule (csaPr) and the one-hour
sulfur dioxide national ambient air quality standard (so2
NaaQs). i have discussed these rules in more detail
in previous columns (see archives at solartoday.org/
digital). suffice it to say that they will cause a significant
number of coal-fired power plants to close and will raise
the levelized cost of energy from plants that remain
operating. this will increase retail rates at utilities that
stay wedded to dirty energy. it is important to note
that despite the myth that coal-fired power plants are
all baseload, in fact many of the coal-fired plants that
are closing because of these rules have been operated
as seasonal peakers to meet air-conditioning load on
hot summer days.
these three rules should be a major boon to most
aspects of the renewable energy and energy-efficiency
industry. i say “should be” because the rules, while final
in the sense that they are not drafts, are far from assured
to actually stay in place on a permanent basis. all three
rules are being challenged in court by the coal industry
and by utilities that rely heavily on coal.
Find AIA/GBCI approved sessions at wref2012.org.
Earn aIa, GBCI
at WrEF 2012
the aMericaN iNstitute of architects (aia) and
the Green building certification institute (Gbci) have
each approved more than 30 sessions at wref 2012 for
continuing education and learning unit (lu) credit. the
sessions all fall in wref’s built environment track.
under the approval,
an aia member can earn
up to 20 aia health,
safety, welfare and sustainable Design learning units by attending
the full conference. alternatively, up to five lus can be earned by attending wref
for as little as one day. a leeD Professional can earn up
to 33 credits by attending the full conference.
“by attending, an architect can come up to speed on
the state of the art in solar and sustainable design, and
get all the required aia learning unit credits for an entire
year,” said David Panich, chair of the solar buildings Division at the american solar energy society (ases).
these three rules should be
a major boon to most aspects of
the renewable energy and
these court challenges are very political, so it is
critical for businesses and trade associations to join in
these cases to defend the rules by explaining that rules
help to take away the unfair competitive advantage
that dirty energy has enjoyed up until now. unfortunately, the renewable energy and energy-efficiency
industry rarely does this. the lawsuit over the csaPr
rule represents a small step forward. calpine, a mainly
natural gas utility but with considerable geothermal
assets and a small amount of photovoltaics, has joined
the case to defend the csaPr rule. exelon, a mainly
nuclear utility, is also in the case to defend the rule. (to
be clear, in no way am i saying that nuclear is renewable energy or even that it is a good thing.) however,
notably absent from this and other critical cases are
pure-play or at least majority renewable energy and
Copyright © 2012 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
the wref schedule includes forums and technical sessions highlighting topics ranging from active
solar to zero-net-energy, and everything in between,
• Building case studies and examples of exemplary
tee on the environment 2011 award winners).
sessions approved for credit will be marked on the
detailed wref schedule with the terms “aia approved”
and/or “Gbci approved.” to view the schedule and to
register, go to wref2012.org.
of additional interest to architects, wref will host
the annual meetings of the society of building science
educators (sbse) and the ases solar buildings Division.