Last month, state energy authorities warned that California will likely have a shortage of electricity this summer equivalent to what is needed to power about 1.3 million homes. So why are local and state regulators increasingly trying to force Californians to rely on increasingly unreliable electricity?
In Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board is working on its “Advanced Clean Car Regulations II” to try to force the replacement of gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles. And here in Southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District is proposing “control measures” that would require the replacement of natural gas appliances with “zero emission” units in both new and existing homes.
“Zero emission” means it does not work during a power outage.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has just developed its 2022 Air Quality Management Plan, known as the AQMP. It’s too long, but here’s the short version: the region must meet the “8-hour federal ozone standard of 2015” by 2037, and there’s no way to do that.
Complying with the standard would require reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 71% more than all our current standards and regulations will achieve. “The only way to achieve the required NOx reductions is through the extensive use of zero-emission technologies in all stationary and mobile sources,” the executive summary states, “but what the AQMD is allowed to regulate” represents less than 20 percent. 100 percent of NOx emissions “. ”
Everything else is under federal or state control, such as boats, SUVs, and airplanes. The AQMD can only regulate “stationary sources” of emissions, such as power plants, refineries and factories, and they have already done so.
So while “residential combustion” accounts for only a fraction of a fraction of NOx emissions, they are trying to force the replacement of water heaters, ovens and gas stoves in up to 5.3 million homes.
How much will it cost?
“The transition required to zero-emission and low-emission technologies to meet the standard will be more expensive than traditional control strategies developed to earlier federal standards,” the regulators admit. “Ensuring a smooth and affordable transition will be key to the success of the AQMP.”
To address the issue of equity and accessibility, the AQMD plans to offer “incentives” to some residents. They are just not sure where they will get enough money to pay.
The immediate problem is that in 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. UU. designated the South Coast Air Basin as an “extreme” non-compliance zone for the “8-hour ozone standard of 2015” and regulators are required to have a plan to comply in 2037. But in a section of the draft Management Plan of the Air Quality entitled “Air quality and health effects”, the regulators explain that “weather conditions” are “one of the main drivers of the levels of air pollutants observed in our region.” They say our “topography”, “intense temperature inversions” and “abundant insolation” create a “perfect storm” of conditions to form air pollution “and a high level of ozone. Another cause of high ozone levels in the region is forest fires.
Given all of these factors, it might make sense to review the ozone standard itself and see if it is appropriate or delusional. Could our financial resources be used for something more profitable?
Instead of answering that question, we have 48 recently proposed “control measures.”
Control measure R-CMB-01 is “requiring zero-emission water heating units through a regulatory approach for both new and existing residences.”
“A normative approach” means it is mandatory.
Control measure R-CMB-02 is “requiring zero-emission space heating units through a regulatory approach for both new and existing residences.”
Control measure R-CMB-03 “seeks to achieve NOx reductions in residential kitchen appliances, including stoves, ovens, grills, grills and others in new and existing residential buildings.”
Note that the word “require” is missing in the third “control measure,” perhaps because “NOx emissions from residential kitchen appliances are not currently regulated by the AQMD on the South Coast.” Not yet, but the Legislature is still in session.
There are dozens more proposals for “control measures” that affect commercial and industrial equipment, all added to the regulations already imposed.
Recognizing that compliance may be impossible in many cases, the AQMD plan offers offenders the option to pay a “mitigation fee.” The agency says it plans to use the revenue from mitigation rates to fund its incentive programs “to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission units.”
This is a lot of trouble and expense to get nothing done. Although ozone is the cause of health problems in Southern California, banning gas appliances does not solve it. The sole purpose of the regulations is to comply with other regulations and to avoid the possible sanctioning of even more regulations. Will anyone have the courage to call it all and demand a rational review of what we are doing?
Probably not, but if you want to make your voice heard, the public comment period on the 2022 AQMP Draft runs until June 21st. Email your feedback to AQMPteam@aqmd.gov or go to AQMD.gov and search for “Air Quality”. Management plan ”.
According to Table 4-1 of the plan, one of the criteria for evaluating the proposed control measures is “public acceptability”, defined as “the probability that the public will approve or cooperate in the implementation of a control measure”.
Let them know what you think.
You can contact Susan Shelley at Susan@SusanShelley.com and you can follow her on Twitter @Susan_Shelley.
California regulators tilt at windmills – Press Telegram Source link California regulators tilt at windmills – Press Telegram