Green on the Hill
regulatory program are too ambitious.
Apparently that is true of the timetable
for lowering the thresholds for companies that would have to obtain special
permits, called Prevention of Significant
Deterioration (PSD) permits, to build or
modify plants. As of Dec. 1, 2011, the
EPA and state permitting authorities
have issued 18 PSD permits addressing GHG emissions.
The EPA or a state government forc-
es a company to obtain a permit when
construction or modification leads to
emissions of GHG—actually a carbon
dioxide equivalent (CO2e), a marker for
six gases—over a certain threshold.
The permit requirements, set at high
thresholds so that only the largest of
the large would be affected, went into
effect in January 2011. At that time the
EPA said it would lower thresholds go-
nounced it had changed its mind.
This was taken as a tacit admission
that the agency underestimated the human resources at the federal and state
level that would be required to issue
GHG permits. In the Feb. 27 press release announcing its “stand pat” proposed rule, the EPA made a point of
saying it “has proposed not to include
additional, smaller sources in the permitting program at this time.”
Stephen Barlas is a freelance writer based
in Arlington, Va., and can be reached at
From “Green Manufacturer Brief” News items from our e-newsletter 2013 Energy Budget Highlights Clean-Energy Investment In addition to the request for funding the Advanced Manufac- turing Office in his February fiscal year 2013 budget request for the Department of Energy, President Obama asked for $27.2 billion to help to fund investments in innovation and clean-energy job creation as well as national security. Of that request, $2.27 billion would be for the DOE’s Office of En- ergy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Some of the specifics the president hopes to fund are: •;Investments;in;cross-cutting;research;to;lead;in;the;re- search, development, deployment, and production of clean- energy technologies; •;A;reduction;in;solar;energy;costs;by;75;percent;so;that it is affordable for all Americans and also is cost-competitive without subsidies by the end of the decade; •;Reduced;dependence;on;oil;by;one-third;by;2025;;and •;Support;of;groundbreaking;basic;science,;research, and innovation to solve the U.S.’s energy challenges and keep the country at the forefront of science and technology. Some budget highlights are: •;$60;million;to;perform;critical;research;on;energy;stor- age systems and devise new approaches for battery storage; •;$276;million;for;research;and;development;of;ad- vanced fossil fuel power systems and carbon capture, utili- zation, and storage technologies to allow for the continued use of our abundant domestic coal resources while reducing reenhouse gas emissions; and •;$350;million;for;the;Advanced;Research;Projects;Agen- cy-Energy (ARPA-E) to continue support for promising early- stage research projects that could deliver clean-energy tech- nologies.
Energy Department Efficiency Training Centers Can
Help Manufacturers Save Billions of Dollars
The Energy Department’s cost-cutting Industrial Assessment
Program, supports university-based Industrial Assessment
Centers (IACs) across the country.
At these centers engineering faculty train upper-class and
graduate students to conduct energy assessments in many
types of facilities, which results in cost savings for small
to midsize manufacturers. Savings can come from energy-efficiency improvements, waste minimization and pollution
prevention, and productivity improvements.
According to the Energy Department, these assessments
DOE Announces up to $3 Million to Administer
In January the Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding up to $3 million to administer its Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification program, which it says is designed
to help U.S. manufacturers increase the energy efficiency of
their domestic facilities, boost their global competitiveness,
and create jobs.
The SEP program administrator selected will launch and
oversee the program during its initial stages and will develop
a sustainable business model to enable SEP to become a
fee-based, self-sufficient program within three years.
energy management) is one of the program’s requirements.
Five Texas facilities pilot-tested the SEP program and now
are SEP-certified. The program is expected to launch nationally in fall 2012.