The Economics of Magic

From: CircleID

By Bruce Levinson

Arthur C. Clarke said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Milton Friedman said there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The validity of the former statement does not invalidate the later. From this we can see that even magic has a price. Hence, its application is subject to cost-benefit analysis.

There are many developing technologies that may eventually qualify as magic. Quantum computing, large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), and the unbounded Internet of Everything (IoE) are a few examples of potential future magic.

US CCS milestone ‘miniscule’ in terms of need

From: Power Engineering International

International Digital Editor

A leading advocate of carbon capture and storage says that a milestone reached in the US this week is nowhere near sufficient to what is needed for the technology to be deemed a success.

Dr David Reiner, a Cambridge University Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy who has advised government, industry and non-governmental organisations on energy and environmental policy, was responding to the announcement from the US Department of Energy (DOE) of the safe capture and storage of 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

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CRE warns of fallout from EPA regulations on coal-fired plants

From: EP News Wire

By Caitlin Nordahl

Jim Tozzi from the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) sent a letter to the Secretary of Energy today, addressing issues with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) planned regulations for new coal-fired plants.

The EPA’s rule seeks to require Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology be adopted at new plants. Tozzi’s letter argues that requiring CCS adoption at this stage, when its effectiveness has not been adequately tested, would discourage its future use as the technology is furthered.

DOE Role in EPA’s Proposed Regulation for New Coal Fired Plants

All,

The Department of Energy spends billions on the development emission control technologies. It is important that they participate actively in the formulation of EPA’s NSPS for new coal fired plants.

DOE participation in the rulemaking is virtually guaranteed if EPA were to conduct a peer review in accordance with the requirements of the Data Quality Act.

Failure to conduct such a peer review could result in the execution of the legal strategy contained herein which provides a method for challenging a proposed rule because of non-compliance with the peer review requirements specific to the Data Quality Act. The strategy is a result of a legal precedent established in the TRAC litigation.

Chevron and Auer Deference: Implications for the Administration’s Climate Change Initiative

In reference to a number of reader inquiries regarding Tozzi v HHS we offer the following:

Tozzi v HHS resulted in three key decisions:

(1) The plaintiff need not demonstrate direct causation; instead they can suffer harm through indirect causation, and

(2) The issuance of a standalone report can be a final agency action and thus judicially reviewable, and

(3) An extremely strong statement on the deference to be accorded to agency interpretations of its own regulations.

DOJ Notifies the Ninth Circuit that OMB is the Court of Last Resort on DQA Issues: Implications for Climate Change

(On March 9, 2015 in the Ninth Circuit in the case W. Harkonen v. USDOJ the Department of Justice announced  that although the DQA does not give members of the public the right for judicial review of agency denials of Requests for Correction it does provide the public with the right to seek such relief from OMB. The Department explained that the DQA is “policed” by OMB — not by the courts; DOJ went on to state that OMB has the right to “take action” if agencies are not living up to their DQA duties.

More specifically DOJ stated to the Court:

CRE Option for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Coal Fired Plants

Over a period to several years CRE has conducted an extensive public outreach program to develop a science based program for addressing emissions from new coal fired plants. See the CRE Option.

Groups Begin To Outline Options For EPA To Drop CCS From NSPS Plan

From: Inside EPA

Dawn Reeves

As EPA considers whether to require new coal plants to install partial carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), critics and supporters are offering different options for how the agency can drop the requirement without abandoning its effort to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) at new power plants.

For example, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a group that charges that the CCS mandate is unlawful because it violates the Data Quality Act (DQA), is suggesting in an options paper that EPA issue an “interim” rule that sets a standard for new coal plants that is just shy of CCS, while conducting a peer review on the state of carbon capture technology.

DOJ Notifies the Ninth Circuit that OMB is the Court of Last Resort on DQA Issues

This morning, March 9, 2015 in the Ninth Circuit in the case W. Harkonen v. USDOJ the Department of Justice stated that although the DQA does not give members of the public the right for judicial review of agency denials of Requests for Correction it does provide the public with the right to seek such relief from OMB. The Department explained to the judges that  the DQA is “policed is through OMB”–not through the courts;  therefore they went on to state that OMB has the right to “take action” if agencies are not living up to their DQA duties.

CRE Option for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Coal Fired Plants

Over a period of several years CRE has conducted an extensive public outreach program to develop a science based program for addressing emissions from new coal fired plants. See the CRE Option.

Also see this post regarding OMB’s authority to resolve this matter.

CRE has under preparation a draft complaint which could be filed if EPA proceeds to issue a final rule without addressing its responsibilities to comply with the peer review requirements of the DQA.