Thursday, April 30, 2020

NY to Lower Cap on Emissions Under Carbon Trading Program

New York State plans to Lower its Cap on Carbon Dioxide Emissions by about 1.4 million tons in 2021, and by nearly 1 million tons Annually through 2030, according to a Proposal Published Wednesday. The Revision comes as the State looks to enact the Most Aggressive Climate Action Plan in the Nation.

The Legislation, Signed into Law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) last year, Codifies the State’s Goal of getting All its Electricity from Emission-Free sources by 2040, and an 85% Reduction in Economywide Emissions from 1990 Levels by 2050.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released Proposed Regulations to Strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Nation's First Regional Program to Cap and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Electricity Sector.

The Revised Regulations would Advance New York's Portion of the 30% Regional Cap Reduction from 2021 to 2030, ensuring that Regional Emissions are 65% below the Starting Cap Level by 2030. These Emissions Reductions support Cuomo's Nation-Leading Requirements under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 85% by 2050.

The Proposed Regulations would fulfill the Governor's January 2017 State of the State Challenge to the RGGI States to further Strengthen the RGGI Program, which yields Environmental, Health, and Economic Benefits. With this Program Update, the Regional Cap in 2030 will be 65% below the 2009 Starting Level.

In addition, New York is going Beyond many of its RGGI Partner States by adding Smaller Peaking Power Plants that each have a Capacity of less than 25 megawatts of Power to the Program. This Change recognizes that Most of these Smaller Sources are Located in Proximity to New York's Environmental Justice Communities, which include Communities of Color and Low-Income Communities that bear an Undue and Historic Burden of Air Pollution.

Another Key Proposed Change to the RGGI Program is the Creation of the Emissions Containment Reserve (ECR), a New Feature designed to ensure Additional Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions ​by Auctioning Fewer Allowances in the Event the Cost of such Reductions is Less than Anticipated. The Proposed Regulations also simplify the Program and ensure that Reductions from Power Plants continue by Removing All Offset Categories except for Emissions from Livestock Operations.

In addition, Proposed Revisions to NYSERDA's Regulations advance that Investment of Proceeds from Allowance Auctions provide Equitable Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities, in accordance with the CLCPA. NYSERDA's Proposed Regulations will be Published in the State Register on May 13th, 2020, Opening a Public Comment period that Closes on July 13th, 2020.

DEC's Proposed Regulations (Part 242) were Published in the State Register on April 29th, Opening a Public Comment Period that Closes on June 29th, 2020. In accordance with ​Cuomo's Executive Order regarding the Temporary Suspension of Public Hearings to Limit the Community Spread of COVID-19, DEC will Not hold a Public Hearing.

The CLCPA requires the State to Achieve a Carbon-Free Electricity System by 2040, and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050, setting a New Standard for States and the Nation to Expedite the Transition to a Clean Energy Economy.

The New Law will drive Investment in Clean Energy Solutions such as: Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar, and Wind. Importantly, Implementation of the CLCPA will Target Investments to Benefit Disadvantaged Communities, create Tens of Thousands of New Jobs, Improve Public Health, Quality of Life, and Provide All New Yorkers with more Robust Clean Energy Choices.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

No comments: