SPOKANE, WA--(Marketwired - September 27, 2016) - Avista Corporation (
Washington's natural gas utilities believe that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a matter that needs addressing, but CAR is not the solution. Each utility represented in this case provided feedback and public comment to improve the rule, but ideas put forward were not incorporated. We are asking the courts to find that CAR is invalid.
A better approach, supported by the utilities, is a comprehensive nationwide solution to reduce greenhouse gases. Policy changes, combined with ongoing and effective conservation programs, customer education, and technology advancements are the key to reducing carbon emissions.
The CAR rulemaking process will have the unintended consequence of increasing carbon emissions while penalizing customers for using clean efficient natural gas. CAR suffers several critical flaws with respect to electric and natural gas utilities that will result in adverse environmental impacts:
CAR will increase net carbon emissions regionally from the electric power sector by discouraging the use of existing modern and clean natural gas facilities in Washington state in favor of out-of-state coal plants and less efficient out-of-state natural gas plants.
CAR will discourage people from adopting clean natural gas for home heating and push them toward more polluting fuels, resulting in increased emissions.
CAR could require the development of new energy projects in Washington at a pace and scale that may not be cost effective or achievable.
About The Clean Air Rule (CAR)
CAR attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from "covered entities" in the state of Washington. The rule applies to stationary sources located in the state, such as large manufacturers, as well as to petroleum producers and natural gas utilities. CAR sets a cap on emissions associated with covered entities, which decreases over time. Entities have to reduce their carbon emissions, develop projects that would cut others' emissions, or purchase emission reductions from others.
Notably, CAR covers natural gas distributors and subjects them to an emissions reduction pathway based on the indirect emissions of their customers. CAR regulates the emissions of natural gas utilities' 1.2 million customers across the state, adding to the cost of natural gas for homes and businesses. Natural gas distributors have inconsequential carbon emissions. Their role is primarily to deliver natural gas to customers and ensure its safe delivery.
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