Electricity Daily

A Publication of The Electricity Journal

Volume 8, Number 105  Tuesday, June 3, 1997

Green-N.E. Pact Ended at OTAG

The environmental community and Northeastern states have split over proposals to the Ozone Transport Assessment Group for NOx controls on utility power plants in the 37-state OTAG region. Previously united in demanding the most stringent controls of the three OTAG camps, the enviros are now making demands that even the Northeasterners find unacceptable.

These demands include a ten-percent set-aside of allowable NOx emissions for energy-efficiency incentives and renewables, as proposed by the Mid-Atlantic Energy Project. This position has been bolstered by recent statements from Environmental Protection Agency officials favoring a market for energy efficiency and a renewable energy portfolio standard in any new federal legislation on electric power competition.

Both groups want 85 percent NOx cuts east of the Mississippi, some cuts throughout the rest of the OTAG region, and a cap on future emissions. But they differ as to the degree of controls to the west and south. Jason Grumet, executive director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, proposes lesser controls south of Kentucky and in the West, amounting to a cap of about 800,000 tons per year OTAG-wide. The environmentalists want the 85 percent cuts to run almost to Florida, as well as in Texas and Louisiana, with a cap of about 600,000 tons per year, after the ten percent set-aside.

Despite an all-night caucus between the groups late last week, these differences could not be overcome. According to Alex Johnson, of Midwest Environmental Advocates, some 28 environmental groups now make up a fourth OTAG camp, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Appalachian Mountain Club. OTAG has scheduled another "final meeting" June 19-20 in Washington.

The Electricity Daily

Publisher: Robert O. Marritz

Editor: Kennedy Maize

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