EPSA Implores EPA To Do The Right Thing, Reject Ill-Founded Demand Response Dirty Diesel Waiver
Open Public Process Exposes Health and Environmental Risks
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) today filed detailed public comments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accompanied by over two dozen supporting attachments documenting the serious adverse impacts to public health, the environment and cleaner power generation if EPA moves forward to grant a waiver from hazardous air pollution rules for "behind the meter" generators used to obtain demand response subsidies. In doing so, EPSA joins a broad chorus of voices opposing the proposed rule that includes public health groups, environmental organizations, and state air regulators.
EPSA President and CEO John E. Shelk said, "The proceedings on this ill-advised, ill-founded proposal prove the value of an open public process. Sunshine is truly the best disinfectant when it comes to making good public policy. Less than a week after this proposal to exempt dirty diesel generators from hazardous air pollutant levels when camouflaged as demand response appeared in the Federal Register, the World Health Organization elevated diesel fumes to the highest level of known carcinogens and urged policymakers worldwide to reduce them."
Shelk continued, "EPSA commends EPA for holding an illuminating and informative public hearing on July 10, 2012. Witness after witness, save for the demand response providers, spoke of the many faults in the proposed exemption as it relates to wholesale electricity markets. This included testimony from PJM's independent market monitor that the demand response providersí characterization of PJM's tariff used as a key reason to justify an exemption is truly misplaced." The comments and attachments are posted at www.epsa.org.
EPSA's comments focus on the interaction between the proposed exemption from clean air rules and how wholesale electricity markets function, including capacity markets central to reliability in many regions. The result will be unlawful discriminatory treatment of both cleaner power generation and other forms of demand response to the advantage of exempt dirty diesel generators. To make matters worse, EPA's proposal comes on the heels of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rulings mandating that residential and other consumers subsidize this threat to their health. EPSA is leading a broad and diverse coalition that is separately challenging those FERC rules (Order 745) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
EPSA"s comments also emphasize the lack of any systematic data to justify the waiver being proposed. EPSA and others have sought data on dirty diesel back up generators linked to demand response from regional power markets, FERC and EPA, all to no avail. Both in the proposal and in public meetings, EPA officials have to their credit acknowledged they do not have solid data on where, when and how often the dirty diesel generators to be exempted run. For this and other reasons, EPSA's comments stress that the proposal should be rejected.
CONTACT: JOHN SHELK
(202) 349-0154or 703-472-8660
EPSA is the national trade association representing competitive power suppliers, including generators and marketers. These suppliers, who account for nearly 40 percent of the installed generating capacity in the United States, provide reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities serving global power markets. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers.