Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants
Gina McCarthy | Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator of Air and Radiation, will speak about the EPA’s Clean Air Act power plant rules: the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or “MATS” Rule, finalized on December 16, 2011. These rules will achieve major public health benefits for Americans that significantly outweigh the costs. They are affordable, technologically achievable, and can be implemented while maintaining a robust and reliable electric system. Ms. McCarthy will also discuss EPA analyses and past experience, which indicate that warnings from some of dire economic consequences of moving forward with these important rules are exaggerated at best.
Natural Gas in America’s Clean Energy Economy
Christopher Smith | Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Department of Energy
Leading the world in clean energy is critical to national security and a strong economy. Our goal is to reduce oil imports by a third over the next decade. To meet this challenge, our Nation will continue to find the common sense ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce our dependence on oil, and prudently develop a diverse energy portfolio with domestic resources. But as we invest in the clean energy economy of the future, we are also focusing on the effective management of today’s energy portfolio. Domestic natural gas production has increased substantially in recent years, driven by improvements in the technologies used to produce natural gas from shale formations. Today, the Department of Energy is taking the lead on behalf of the public to ensure the safe, environmentally sustainable development of this resource. We are sponsoring research to address public questions about shale gas, and working closely with industry and states to deploy technologies that will lead to safer, cleaner practices. Safe practices, driven by good science and backed by consistent regulation, will lead to a reliable supply of domestically produced natural gas and lower price volatility for American consumers. Abundant natural gas resources if responsibly developed can be a vital part of the nation’s clean energy portfolio.
Regulatory Challenges, Technology Solutions
Chris M. Hobson | Senior Vice President, Southern Company
This presentation will review the current regulatory challenges facing electric utilities, focusing on the impact of an unprecedented number of new and pending environmental rules. The presentation will examine the key points for decision making and consider uncertainties in costs, fuel supply, and operations. Southern Company’s technology path forward will be explored by reviewing current construction and research programs underway at Southern Company.
Prism 2.0: Potential Impacts of Environmental Controls on the Generation Fleet
Bryan Hannegan | Vice President, Electric Power Research Institute
Recent and projected EPA regulations will require the use of advanced environmental controls to limit emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from the fossil generation fleet. In addition, new controls on cooling water, wastewater discharge, and coal combustion product handling may also be required. This talk will provide an integrated look at the cumulative impacts of these individual regulations on the power generation fleet, using EPRI’s new regional macro-economic model of the U.S. energy system.
Prudent Development: Realizing the Potential of North America’s Abundant Natural Gas and Oil Resources
Clay Bretches | Vice President, Exploration and Production Services, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
In response to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s request, the
National Petroleum Council (NPC) conducted a comprehensive study to reassess the character and potential of North American natural gas and oil resources and the contribution that natural gas can make in a transition to a lower carbon energy mix while achieving objectives of environmental protection, economic growth and energy security. This charge demanded a study that assessed environmental, operational, technology, supply, demand, and infrastructure considerations. The effort involved over 400 participants from diverse backgrounds and organizations, over 50% of whom are employed by organizations outside of natural gas and oil companies. Eighteen months in the making, the NPC delivered detailed findings and policy recommendations to Secretary Chu in September 2011. Clay Bretches chaired the NPC Coordinating Subcommittee and will provide a recap of the highlights from the study and the implications on U.S. energy policy.
Natural Gas: A Clean, Low Carbon Alternative?
Mark Brownstein | Chief Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund
Innovations in production have unlocked vast reserves of natural gas in the United States, and this has the potential to create jobs, increase domestic energy security, and reduce air and climate pollution. But there are serious questions about the environmental and public health impacts of natural gas drilling. Many people simply do not believe that the resource can be developed safely. The burden of proof is on industry and regulators to prove that shale gas development can be done without sacrificing clean water, clean air, or damaging sensitive landscapes or our climate. This talk will explore some of the basic steps that must be taken by both industry and regulators if we are to realize the economic and environmental benefits that natural gas could provide.
EUEC: Looking Ahead After 15 Years of Success
Prabhu Dayal | Chairman, EUEC
An overview of EUEC news, highlights, future plans, and on-site and post conference logistics will be provided. In its 15th year, EUEC continues to be a hub for collaboration between government, industry and stakeholders for the protection of our environment and energy security. EUEC 2012 is occurring on the cusp of pending debate and legislation on energy and climate in the United States and our technical programs and exhibition are intended to facilitate solutions to these changes. In the future, EUEC is looking at new locations, driven by competition with the Super Bowl being held at the same time in Phoenix in 2015. Highlights and logistics of 12 concurrent tracks in the second floor meeting rooms and post-conference activities will be provided.