American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 14

IndustryDigest
Eight States File Suit
Against EPA Denying
Interstate Smog Petition
ALBANY, N.Y.-New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman is leading a
coalition of eight attorneys general in a
lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, arguing the federal
government is failing to control
pollution blown into those states.
The attorneys general of
Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island and Vermont have joined
Schneiderman in asking EPA to add
nine "upwind" Midwest and southern
states to its jurisdiction and require
reductions in those nine states'
emissions of nitrogen oxides and
volatile organic compounds.
The Clean Air Act established the
Ozone Transport Region, which covers
11 "downwind" states: the parties in the
lawsuit and Maine and New Hampshire.
According to EPA, those states must
comply with federal mandates to
implement policies to directly or
indirectly reduce NOx and VOC
emissions. States within the region must
submit state implementation plans to
address those reductions, while
neighboring states outside the region
face no such statewide requirements, but
must act only in nonattainment areas.
The act allows states to petition EPA
to add states to the Ozone Transport
Region, and for the agency to add states
when it believes their emissions are
significant contributors to pollution
problems in other states.
Eight of the transport region states
filed a petition in December 2013
asking EPA to add Illinois, Indiana,
Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina,
Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West
Virginia to the ozone transport region.
According to media accounts, after EPA
failed to act on the petition, the states
filed a federal lawsuit. The parties
negotiated a consent decree that
required EPA to act on the petition by
Oct. 27. On that date, EPA
Administrator Scott Pruitt denied the
petition.
The EPA says existing control
requirements are improving air quality
across the country, both within and
outside the transport region, and
through the agency's ongoing
implementation of the "Good

14 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

Neighbor" provisions, and emission
reductions achieved through other
federal programs. The agency cites data
showing ozone levels nationwide are 30
percent lower since 1980.
In their suit filed on Dec. 26, the
coalition of "downwind" states urged
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit to review
Pruitt's denial of the petition, arguing
that it was unlawful to vacate it. r

FERC Broadens Inquiry
Into The Resiliency
Of The Electric Grid

WASHINGTON-Commenting that
"a proper evaluation of grid resilience
should not be limited to (a) single
issue," the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission on Jan. 8 terminated a
proceeding on electric grid reliability
initiated by Energy Secretary Rick
Perry and replaced it with a second,
broader inquiry.
In September, Secretary Perry asked
FERC to initiate a rule making that
would "fully price generation resources
necessary to maintain" grid reliability,
and specified that to be eligible,
electricity generators must have a 90day fuel supply on site (AOGR,
November 2017, pg. 31).
FERC followed that request by
initiating Docket No. RM18-1-000,
which it repealed with its Jan. 8
announcement. In that announcement,
the commission acknowledges that "we
must remain vigilant with respect to
resilience challenges because affordable
and reliable electricity is vital to the
country's economic and national
security."
However, the agency points out that
the initial proceeding dealt with only
with one aspect of grid resilience: onsite fuel. Instead, it released Docket No.
AD18-7-000 "to holistically examine
the resilience of the bulk power
system."
"We appreciate the (DOE) secretary
reinforcing the resilience of the bulk
power system as an important issue that
warrants further attention," FERC says.
"To that end we are initiating a new
proceeding . . . to specifically evaluate
the resilience of the bulk power system
in the regions operated by regional
transmission organizations and
independent system operators. In this

order, we direct each RTO and ISO to
submit information on certain resilience
issues and concerns."
Specifically, the docket asks whether
RTOs and ISOs share FERC's view that
resilience is "the ability to withstand
and reduce the magnitude and/or
duration of disruptive events." The
RTOs and ISOs also are asked how they
assess threats to resilience and how they
mitigate those threats.
The Independent Petroleum
Association of America and the
America Petroleum Institute-both of
whom opposed FERC's initial
proceeding-hailed the change of
direction. "FERC took the reasonable,
conservative approach to initiate a new
proceeding," states IPAA Vice President
of Crude Oil and Natural Gas
Regulatory Affairs Susan Ginsberg.
"IPAA finds FERC's reasoning and
resulting order to be sound and in
keeping with the overwhelming
documentation submitted by a diverse
group of interested parties."
Adds spokesman Michael Tadeo on
behalf of API, Advanced Energy
Economy, the American Wind Energy
Association, Solar Energy Industries
Association, Natural Gas Supply
Association and the American Council on
Renewable Energy, "We look forward to
engaging with FERC, DOE and the grid
operators in examining what resilience of
the electric power system means and
requires, and to demonstrating the
contribution of our industries to ensuring
reliable power for all."
According to published reports,
Secretary Perry responded that his
intent was to initiate "a national debate
on the resilience of our electric system"
and that he looked forward "to
continuing to work with the
commissioners to ensure the integrity of
the electric grid." r

EPA Sets April Deadline
For Determining Status
Of Ozone Emissions

WASHINGTON-The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has
set an April 30 deadline to determine
which regions of the country cannot
meet federal ozone emissions limits. The
agency issued a notice seeking public
comment in the Jan. 5 Federal Register.
The comment period closed Feb. 5.



American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 1
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - Contents
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