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Climate Change and Energy

Climate Change and Energy

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Climate Change and Energy

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  1. Climate Change and Energy What can Small Communities do to Help? Ken Mitchell, Ph.D. Energy and Climate Change Coordinator U.S. EPA; Atlanta, Georgia

  2. Topics of Discussion • Climate Change and Energy regulations – A quick update • What can communities do to help with climate and energy issues? • What tools are available? • How do you get projects funded?

  3. Climate Change and Energy • An EPA Priority • Reducing greenhouse gases is a top priority for Administrator Jackson • Some key actions taken: • Endangerment Finding • Mandatory Reporting • Renewable Fuels Standard • Carbon Capture & Sequestration

  4. Proposed Endangerment Finding • Current and projected concentrations of the mix of key greenhouse in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations • The combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change

  5. Mandatory Reporting of GHGs • Required by FY08 omnibus appropriations legislation • Federal Register Notice 4/10/09 • Comment Period Closed 6/09/09 Inventory of U.S. GHG Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007

  6. Who Reports? • Primarily facility, with limited exceptions (e.g., fuel importers, vehicle and engine manufacturers) *Some upstream suppliers will also be reporting their direct emissions (e.g., refineries)

  7. Proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) • Proposed revision to current RFS (RFS1) as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) • Significant increase in renewables to displace petroleum consumption • Lifecycle analysis for GHGs • Comment period extended until 9/25/09

  8. Volume Changes Over Time

  9. Figure courtesy: CO2CRC Geologic Sequestion of CO2 • Requirements under Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for the underground injection of CO2 for long-term underground storage • Builds on UIC regulatory framework, with modifications based on the unique nature of CO2 injection • Public comment period closed 12/24/08

  10. What about the Southeast?

  11. Some key facts about Region 4…. • Home to 20% of the population (with a large disadvantaged population) • We generated about 24% of electricity in U.S. (burning coal is a primary fuel source) in 2007 • Responsible for about 24% of U.S. CO2emissions (from power production) in 2007 • We use more fuel and drive more miles than any other Region Energy Information Administration Federal Highways Administration U.S. Census Bureau

  12. What can communities do to help? Courtesy of Sustaining the Environment and Resources for Canadians

  13. What can communities do….? • Organize for success! • Set goals that will make a meaningful difference and which you can realistically achieve • Identify what’s already being done in your community and the new projects you want to do • As you implement your projects, measure progress and adjust as needed

  14. Develop your Collaborative Partnership

  15. Establish Goals and Objectives • Focuses priorities, strategy, and timeline • Often expressed in a numeric or percentage basis and described relative to “business as usual” conditions • Stringency of goals typically based on an assessment of potential opportunity and grounded by economic, environmental, and energy priorities

  16. What projects will you work on? • Identify & select new projects that will meet your goals • Energy Efficiency • Energy Supply • Transportation and Air Quality • Urban Planning and Design • Waste Management Strategies • Adaptation • Inventory your existing programs (what’s already being done?)

  17. Energy Efficiency – Some Ideas • Municipal Operations • Many government buildings could use nearly 1/3 less energy through low-cost or no-cost improvements • Affordable Housing • Reduce the energy cost burden on low-income households while generating benefits for the local community and region • Schools • The annual energy bill to run America's primary and secondary schools is a staggering $7.6 billion—more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined Energy efficiency reduces demand for energy and peak electricity system loads.

  18. Energy Efficiency – Some Ideas • Energy Efficient Purchasing • Purchasing efficient products reduces energy costs without compromising quality • Water and Wastewater Utilities • The nation's wastewater plants and drinking water systems spend about $4 billion per year on energy to treat water (about 1/3 of a municipality's total energy bill) • Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Buildings • Well-designed, implemented, and enforced codes can help eliminate inefficient construction practices and technologies with little or no increase in total project costs. • Many buildings could use significantly less energy through low-cost or no-cost improvements Energy efficiency reduces demand for energy and peak electricity system loads.

  19. Energy Supply – Some Ideas • Green Power Procurement • One of the easiest ways to reduce environmental impacts associated with electricity use • On-site Renewable Energy • Install equipment that captures energy from sunlight, wind, water, and other renewable energy sources • Combined Heat and Power (CHP) • CHP promotes the generation of power and thermal energy from a single fuel source • Landfill Gas to Energy • Preventing emissions of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) through the development of landfill gas energy projects Clean energy supply includes renewable energy and combined heat and power (CHP). Renewable energy includes solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydroelectric power.

  20. Example - Biodiesel • Converts waste food grease to biodiesel • Saves money • Less carbon emissions • Keeps grease out of the sewer • EPA Region 4 holding a biodiesel workshop on October 14 and 15 in Atlanta •

  21. Transportation and Air Quality • Balance local/regional air quality and transportation goals through efficient technologies, traffic control measures, and renewable fuels • Some Ideas • Anti-idling campaigns • Truckstop electrification • Promote mass transit and alternate transit (e.g., bikes) • Increased access to renewable fuels • Increased use of fuel efficient vehicles

  22. Urban Planning and Design • Smart Growth • Mixed land uses (live/work/play) • Take advantage of compact building design • Create walkable neighborhoods • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas • Strengthen/direct development towards existing communities • Provide a variety of transportation choices • Etc. • Urban Heat Island Reduction • Trees and Vegetation • Green Roofs • Cool Roofs • Cool Pavements From land use planning to material selection, the choices communities make regarding their built environment affect energy consumption, the environment, public health, economic development, and the quality of life.

  23. Waste Management Strategies • Lower greenhouse gas emissions through • Waste prevention • Recycling • Buying recycled materials • Reduced releases of refrigerants Waste prevention and recycling are potent strategies to reduce energy use!

  24. Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts • Climate change potentially impacts…. • Air quality (Ozone, PM, Toxics, Pollen) • Heat-related stress on people, plants, animals • Water availability • Coastal regions (sea level rise, storm surge) • Ecosystems and their services • Etc. Photo: NOAA

  25. Tools to help you get it done…. • EPA has a number of tools to help communities select, deploy, and measure the benefits of clean energy projects • Rapid Deployment Energy Efficiency Toolkit • Clean Energy Resources Database • Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator • Cool Roofing Comparison Calculator

  26. Getting it funded Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency ( EPA’s Center for Environmental Finance (

  27. Questions? Ken Mitchell, Ph.D. Energy and Climate Change Coordinator U.S. EPA; Atlanta, Georgia 404-562-9065