Thursday, August 14, 2014

Efficiency expert says Arkansas leading the nation on planning for EPA carbon rule

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 2:59 PM

click to enlarge INCREASE EFFICIENCY: Neal Elliott of ACEEE.
  • INCREASE EFFICIENCY: Neal Elliott of ACEEE.
On Thursday, one of the nation's leading experts in the field of energy efficiency spoke to a crowd of government and industry experts at Heifer International about Arkansas' implementation of the proposed EPA rule on limiting carbon emissions, a topic that's provided much fodder recently for state legislators and political candidates eager to condemn the rule as federal intrusion and a job killer.

Despite the grandstanding from elected officials, state agency heads have been convening stakeholder meetings with power companies, environmental groups and others. Neal Elliott, Associate Director of Research at the DC-based nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEE), said that Arkansas should be praised for its quick work in sketching a compliance plan to meet the carbon-reduction goals outlined by EPA.

"Arkansas is probably 6-8 weeks ahead of just about every state out there," he said. "A tip of the hat to the [Arkansas] Department of Environmental Quality and the Public Service Commission for getting stakeholder meetings started early."

Elliott said that according to ACEEE's calculations, Arkansas could meet more than 40 percent of its carbon reduction goal by implementing improved energy efficiency measures on the consumption side of the power equation — as opposed to switching from coal-burning plants to gas and renewables on the generation side.

Energy efficiency is one of four areas in which states can meet EPA's proposed mandate. The other three concern power generation and distribution, which is what's fueling the cries of economic devastation from politicians and some in the business community — they warn of power plant closures, job losses and skyrocketing energy rates. (Randy Zook, of the State Chamber of Commerce said it's "like giving you four knives to choose from to slit your wrists.") Notwithstanding ridiculous hyperbole, states are effectively free to create their own path forward on compliance, as long as they show that the end result is less CO2 released into the air. Part of that formula is increasing efficiency — meaning anything from weatherized homes to greener building practices to less power-intensive manufacturing processes.

Elliott also noted that Arkansas (and other states) already has policies in place nudging homeowners, contractors and businesses towards greater energy efficiency. The Public Service Commission offers financial incentives to do just that, because it's long been recognized that improved efficiency is a win-win. It results in lower electric bills for consumers, and lower carbon output in general.

As for the power generation side of things — ACEEE doesn't take a position on issues of energy supply, said Elliott. "Whether you use gas, nuclear, coal, whatever — we think you should use it more efficiently," he continued.

True true. There's no doubt that increasing efficiency should be a big part of the puzzle. But let's also not lose sight of the fact that meeting the EPA targets will indeed require some pain from consumers and — especially — from power companies; that's where the remaining 60 percent of the reduction burden will come from. We've got to move away from relying on coal, and there's no way around it. In the long run, that's another win-win.

The next big step on this issue is the stakeholder meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 28th at ADEQ Headquarters in Little Rock.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation