WASHINGTON, D.C. -- State and local energy officials, utility commissioners and air regulators met in Washington to coordinate efforts on environmental protection, energy and utility policy.
“Despite the gridlock in D.C., State policymakers are finding bipartisan solutions to improve public health, keep the lights on and enhance our economic competitiveness,” said Malcolm Woolf, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration and Chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials.
“This meeting demonstrated the need for teamwork between and among state agencies," added David Wright, Vice Chair of the South Carolina Public Service Commission and President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. "As utility regulators we are tasked with ensuring reliable electric service at reasonable prices. Our sister agencies at the State level have their own responsibilities. It is critical that we work together as new environmental rules are implemented so we can better serve our energy consumers.”
The meeting brought together representatives from NACAA, NARUC and NASEO, as well as industry, federal government representatives and non-governmental groups. NACAA is composed of state and local air regulators from across the country. NARUC’s members are utility commissioners that regulate electricity, natural gas and other utilities at the state level. NASEO’s members are the individuals designated as their executive branch energy policy and program advisors within the states that are charged with implementing state energy and economic development programs.
This meeting was a continuation of a multi-year effort to ensure that State policymakers are working together in the cross-cutting energy and environmental arenas. Session panels included an overview of the Clean Air Act, an examination of the Utility Mercury Air Toxics Standard, the Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants and the Cross-State Pollution Rule, among other issues. State and local officials from across the country identified innovative approaches, including alternative compliance strategies, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, as well as other mechanisms to reduce costs and preserve economic development, while improving environmental health.
Stu Clark, of the Washington Department of Ecology Air Program, stated: “I would like to see us continue to advance this dialogue, whatever happens in Congress, EPA and the courts on these rules. It can only help the public if state and local officials coordinate these responses, rather than working separately. There are a lot of good examples out there.”
SOURCE: National Association of Regulatory Commissioners