Tom Ewing’s Regulatory Update

Out of paperclips: FERC staff likely went back and forth to Staples last week to restock their paperclip supply.  Two regulatory proceedings are burning up their mimeograph machines.  One is the proposed “Carbon Pricing in Organized Wholesale Electricity Markets,” issued on 10/15.  Comments were due by 11/16 and, indeed, on that date alone I counted at least 61 filings from groups seeking to intervene.  (Ever heard of the Balancing Authority of Northern California?  Neither did I.  Yes, they are gymnasts, but not with parallel bars.)  The second proceeding is a 721-page complaint from “Californians For Green Nuclear Power, Inc.” a group charging that the planned closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear generating plant will drastically worsen electric power issues in California, violating federal reliability standards.  Comment deadline – also 11/16.  Approximately 55 peeps filed comments.  Do you think everybody read all 721 pages…?

Time to Get to Work: “After considering the Parties’ briefs, past precedent, and the decision record, NOAA overrides the State’s objection. NOAA finds that EBC’s proposed disposal of 890,000 cy of dredged material at ELDS is necessary in the interest of national security.”  That decision from  NOAA was posted last week.  Recall that New York State had contested a permit allowing Electric Boat Corporation to dump dredged material in the Eastern Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Site (ELDS), previously approved by state and federal regulators.  Nothing important here – just the operational ability for EBC to build the new Columbia Class ballistic missile submarines.  Hence the reference to national security.

Whale watch: Fisheries and Oceans Canada held its annual North Atlantic Right Whale Roundtable Meeting last week.  These meetings include the fishing industry, provinces, marine mammal experts and others, part of Canada’s effort to protect right whales andsupport sustainable fisheries.  Recently, to protect whales, thirty-five thousand square kilometers in the Gulf of St. Lawrence were closed to fishing – an area six times the size of Prince Edward Island.   The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates there are approximately 366 North Atlantic right whales remaining in the world.  Right whales migrate along the east coast.  In recent years they have been increasingly present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Approximately 124 different whales were sighted in Canadian waters this year, including five new right whale calves.  Ahhh… optimism…!

Have a great Monday and a great week and a great Thanksgiving!
Tom Ewing”reply” or 513-379-5526 voice/text