Carbon pollution standards are on the horizon. “Carbon pollution” is a short-hand way of discussing the emissions of greenhouse gases, of which the largest are carbon dioxide and methane. Greenhouse gases are frequently called “GHGs.”
What is happening now?
U.S. EPA is releasing numerous standards in the coming months that will impact the transportation sectors, electric generation, oil and gas production, natural gas transmission, airplane fuel use, and others.
- Mobile source standards require motor vehicle manufacturers to increase fleetwide fuel economy standards.
- Renewable Fuel Standard quantity requirements were issued on June 1, 2015. The RFS affects the quantity and price for ethanol, biodiesel and advanced cellulosic fuels. Each of these fuels may also reduce GHG emissions.
- The Clean Power Plan, a group of three rules affecting electricity generation, is expected to be finalized this summer.
- New rules are likely to control methane releases from oil and gas production and natural gas pipeline transportation this summer.
- New rules applying standards for airplane fuel economy are expected this summer.
What does this mean for me?
Energy markets and energy prices will continue to fluctuate as policy choices impact the purchase and use of traditional fuels and traditional electric power sources. While a wide array of non-traditional fuels and electric generation sources are becoming available, policy choices will continue to affect their viability. The market changes may be confusing and volatile, requiring additional attention by all users to minimize both legal and physical risks posed by the dynamic marketplace.
Schiff Hardin invites you to consult with the Environmental Group concerning the status of Carbon Pollution Standards, and implementation or litigation concerning any of the standards.