Georgetown Climate Center Convenes States and Power Companies to Discuss Implementation Options Under EPA's Clean Power Plan

December 3, 2014

On December 3, the Georgetown Climate Center convened states, power companies, NGOs, and experts to discuss different ways that states could potentially comply with EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan.

The dialogue came just two days after the close of the comment deadline for the proposed rule. A large number of federal officials also participated in the discussion.

The convening covered a number of issues, including state and power company considerations for choosing a compliance pathway under the rule, policy design considerations, interstate dynamics (including accounting, crediting, and double counting issues), and opportunities to incorporate interstate elements into state plans.  The group also discussed the potential economic impacts of different types of collaborations.

Participants included EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and more than 20 other federal officials, senior officials from 15 states (AR, CA, CO, IL, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, MT, NY, OR, TN, VA, and WA), and executives from 15 power companies (Arizona Public Service Company, Calpine, DTE Energy, Entergy, Exelon, National Grid, NextEra Energy, NRG, PG&E, PNM Resources, Portland General Electric, PSEG, Seattle City Light, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Xcel Energy). 

The EPA's Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, and Joe Goffman, Associate Assistant Administrator and Senior Counsel for the Office of Air and Radiation, engaged with the group about the development of state plans.

Since June 2013, the Georgetown Climate Center has convened states and power companies on multiple occasions, including convenings in June 2013, October 2013, and April 2014.

A detailed agenda and participants list follows.

 

Agenda
 

8:30 am: Welcome and Overview
Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Asst. Dean, Centers & Institutes, Professor
from Practice, and Environmental Law Program Director, Georgetown Law

8:45 am: Keynote Address by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

9:15 am: Regional and Company Considerations
During this discussion, we will invite state and power company representatives from different regions of the country to identify key considerations related to choosing a compliance pathway. Considerations likely include unique regional electricity generation characteristics and market structures, interstate energy relationships, service territories in multiple states, cost‐effectiveness, administrative simplicity, political considerations, legal authorities, and desired policy outcomes. As part of this conversation, we will also hear updates from regional dialogues and associations that can help support this decisionmaking
process.

10:15 am: Implementation and Policy Design Considerations
The session will begin with a detailed discussion of how different compliance pathways could operate in practice, including what the obligation would be on EGUs and potentially other parties, what would be required in state plans, what would be necessary for companies to comply with the program, and other key considerations. The discussion will then transition to a discussion of benefits, drawbacks, and unanswered questions about compliance pathways.

12:45 pm: Discussion with EPA on State Plan Development
Featuring Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, and Joe Goffman, Associate Assistant Administrator and Senior Counsel

1:15 pm: Interstate Dynamics: Accounting, Interstate Crediting, and Double Counting
This session will begin with a brief discussion of emissions, generation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency tracking infrastructure that may be required for different potential compliance programs, and of the role that existing emissions and renewable energy credit tracking platforms can play.

We will then turn to a discussion of interstate crediting and how to address the potential for double
counting. Since electricity flows across state lines and many state renewable and energy efficiency
programs allow for interstate compliance mechanisms—such as interstate tradable renewable energy
credits (RECs)—many states have an incentive to seek credit for the out‐of‐state emission reductions
and generation effects that result from their in‐state renewable and energy efficiency policies. At the
same time, these interstate power dynamics, combined with the flexibility to use both rate‐based and
mass‐based programs, can lead to the potential for double counting of emission reductions. EPA’s
proposal suggests double counting would not be allowed and would need to be addressed in state plans.
The discussion session will focus on the types of interstate power relationships that will need to be
addressed, and the potential solutions that have been identified.

2:45 pm: Opportunities to Incorporate Interstate Elements into Compliance Pathways
The discussion will focus on opportunities to incorporate interstate elements into state plans that would not necessarily require submitting a joint plan, for example through acceptance of interstate tradable instruments like credits or allowances. Participants will also hear from experts about different ways of coordinating state program design that could facilitate such interstate elements, and about potential economic impacts of different types of collaboration through interstate tradable instruments.

 

Participants


States

  • Arkansas: Stuart Spencer, General Counsel, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
  • California: Craig Segall, Senior Staff Counsel, California Air Resources Board
  • Colorado: Martha Rudolph, Director of Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Illinois: Doug Scott, Chair, Illinois Commerce Commission
  • Kentucky: John Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
  • Maryland: Kathy Kinsey, Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Operations, Maryland Department of the Environment,
  • Massachusetts: David Cash, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Michigan: Vince Hellwig, Air Quality Division Chief, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Mary Maupin, State Manager, Air Quality Division, Department of Environmental Quality
  • Minnesota: David Thornton, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Montana: David Klemp, Bureau Chief, Air Resources Management Bureau, Montana Department of Environmental Quality
  • New York: Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner for Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Oregon: Colin McConnaha, Senior Climate Change Policy Analyst, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Tennessee: Michelle B. Walker, Director, Office of Policy and Planning, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Virginia: Michael Dowd, Air Division Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Washington: Sam Ricketts, Director, Washington, DC Office of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

 

Power Companies

  • Arizona Public Service Company: Chas Spell, Director of Corporate Environmental and Sustainability
  • Calpine: Yvonne McIntyre, Vice President, Federal Affairs
  • DTE Energy: Skiles Boyd, Vice President, Environmental Management and Resources
  • Entergy: Jeff Williams, Senior Manager, Climate Consulting
  • Exelon: Dan Allegretti, Vice President for State Government Affairs, and Kathleen Robertson, Manager, Environmental & Fuels Policy
  • National Grid: Ed White, Vice President of Customer Strategy and Environmental
  • NextEra Energy: Ray Butts, Director, Environmental Services
  • NRG: Steve Corneli, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Policy and Strategy
  • PG&E: Ray Williams, Director, Energy Policy
  • PNM Resources: Jeanette Pablo, Federal Affairs & Climate Advisor
  • Portland General Electric: Sunny Radcliffe, Director of Government Affairs
  • PSEG: Russell Furnari, Manager, Environmental Policy
  • Seattle City Light: Lynn Best, Director, Environmental Affairs and Real Estate
  • Tennessee Valley Authority: John Myers, Director, Environmental Policy and Performance
  • Xcel Energy: Jack Ihle, Director of Environmental Policy

 

NGO Participants

  • Bipartisan Policy Center: Jennifer Macedonia, Senior Advisor
  • Center for the New Energy Economy: Jeff Lyng, Senior Policy Advisor
  • Clean Air Task Force: Conrad Schneider, Advocacy Director
  • Environmental Defense Fund: Megan Ceronsky, Director of Regulatory Policy and Senior Attorney, Climate & Air Program, and Nicholas Bianco, Director of Regulatory Analysis and Strategic Partnerships
  • ENVIRON: Bliss Higgins, Principal
  • Great Plains Institute / Litz Energy Strategies: Franz Litz, Program Consultant / Principal
  • National Association of Clean Air Agencies: Bill Becker, Executive Director, and Phil Assmus, Senior Staff Associate
  • Natural Resources Defense Council: Derek Murrow, Director, Federal Energy Policy, Energy & Transportation Program
  • Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions: Jeremy Tarr, Policy Counsel
  • The Northbridge Group: Bruce Phillips, Director
  • Regulatory Assistance Project: Ken Colburn, Senior Associate
  • Resources for the Future: Dallas Burtraw, Senior Fellow
  • Union of Concerned Scientists: Kenneth Kimmell, President, and Steve Frenkel, Director, Midwest Office


 

Federal Participants
 

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Gina McCarthy, Administrator
  • Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Joe Goffman, Associate Assistant Administrator & Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Mark Rupp, Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Sarah Dunham, Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Jack Bowles, State and Local Relations, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Kevin Culligan, Sector Policy and Program Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
  • Nikolaas Dietsch, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Cate Hight, Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Julia Miller, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Kellie Ortega, Office of Civil Enforcement, Air Enforcement Division
  • Julie Rosenberg, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Juan Santiago, Air Quality Policy Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
  • Jeb Stenhouse, Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Lora Strine, Sector Policy and Program Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
  • Nick Swanson, Sector Policy and Program Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards
  • Meg Victor, Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation
  • Abi Vijayan, Air and Radiation Law Office, Office of General Counsel


Department of Energy:

  • Judi Greenwald, Deputy Director for Climate, Environment, and Energy Efficiency, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
  • Bryan Mignone, Director, Office of Climate and Environmental Analysis
  • Kate Marks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
  • Erin Boyd, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, Office of Climate and Environmental Analysis


White House:

  • Candace Vahlsing, Senior Policy Analyst, White House Domestic Policy Council Office of Energy and Climate Change

 

Georgetown Climate Center

  • Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director; Assistant Dean, Centers & Institutes, Professor from Practice, and Environmental Law Program Director, Georgetown Law
  • Kate Zyla, Deputy Director
  • Gabe Pacyniak, Mitigation Program Manager
  • Lissa Lynch, Institute Associate
  • Myriam Alexander-Kearns, Institute Associate
  • Matthew Goetz, Institute Fellow


Consulting to Georgetown Climate Center to Support the December 3 Dialogue:

  • M.J. Bradley & Associates LLC: Carrie Jenks, Senior Vice President, Paul Allen, Senior Vice President, and Tom Curry, Vice President