Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  The comment period ended last week on EPA’s review, which started last March, of the Final Determination of the Mid-term Evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2021-2025 (procedurally, the model year 2021 was considered a separate action).  EPA’s work was coordinated with a parallel rulemaking by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding CAFE standards – Corporate Average Fuel Economy.  This topic drew a heck of a lot of interest: 405,908 comments; so far, though, just 7,764 are posted online. *:D big grin
*  Speaking of CO2 and greenhouse gas equivalents transportation CO2 emissions increased in 2016.  The US Energy Information Administration (EIS) released its report “US Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2016” last week.  A few highlights (and recall that the economy expanded in 2016): overall carbon intensity (CO2/GDP) declined by 3.1%.  Emissions declined in 6 out of the past 10 years, and energyrelated CO2 emissions in 2016 were 823 (14%) million metric tons (MMmt) below 2005 levels.  Natural gas CO2 emissions surpassed those from coal. However, because natural gas produces more energy for the same amount of emissions as coal, growth in natural gas consumption contributed to the overall 2016 decline in total emissions.  Of the four enduse sectors, only transportation CO2 emissions increased in 2016.  Motor gasoline accounted for 56.0% of the 34 MMmt net increase in transportation-sector CO2 emissions in 2016—totaling 19 MMmt—an increase of 1.8% from the 2015 level.  Jet fuel emissions were up by about 4.0% (9 MMmt), diesel declined by 2.7%.
*  EPA released its Draft FY 2018– 2022 Strategic Plan last week.  The Strategic Plan is being revised, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010. EPA expects to submit a final Strategic Plan to Congress in February 2018.  The Strategic Plan reflects the Administrator’s three strategic goals: Core Mission – to “deliver real results to provide Americans with clean air, land, and water;” Cooperative Federalism – rebalancing power between Washington and the states; and Rule of Law – administering the law as Congress intended, focusing on statutory obligations.  Comments on the Draft are due 10/31.
Tom Ewing
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