Resolution in Support of Energy Security, Production, Distribution, Environmental Protection and Economic Growth in the United States

 
WHEREAS, energy affects all aspects of American life and is indispensable for quality of life, economic growth, and the sustainability of modern society; and
 
WHEREAS, access to energy and the supply of energy will only become more important in the future as energy demand continues to increase; and
 
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, overall energy consumption in the United States will grow by 14 percent between 2008 and 2035, electricity demand will increase by 30 percent, and demand for liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel will increase by nearly 14 percent; and
 
WHEREAS, the American economy is becoming more energy efficient, as indicated by the fact that carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of Gross Domestic Product declined 41.3 percent between 1981 and 2005, and will decline 42 percent through 2035, and technological developments spurred by the market have improved efficiency and led to lower emissions, without government mandates, excessive regulation, or taxes; and 
 
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. EPA, since 1980 GDP has increased 124 percent, vehicle miles traveled have increased 103 percent, population has increased 36 percent, and energy consumption has increased 30 percent, and, despite these increases, aggregate levels of air toxins have decreased 52 percent, ambient levels of carbon monoxide are down 77 percent, ozone is down 21 percent, lead is down 94 percent and sulfur dioxide is down 68 percent; and
 
WHEREAS, recent U.S. EPA proposals, including the Clean Air Transport Rule, the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule, the Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan and the Hazardous Air Pollutants Rule, could threaten the reliability and security of the nation’s energy supply; and
 
WHEREAS, those same proposals could force the premature closure of power plants that are essential to providing critical electrical transmission services, including voltage support, black start recovery, and reactive power, thereby further jeopardizing the dependability of the nation’s energy supply; and
 
WHEREAS, those same proposals may cause unnecessary and unjustified economic hardship on various communities throughout the United States where affected power plants are located; and
 
WHEREAS, those same proposals may cause unnecessary and unneeded increases in residential, commercial and industrial energy tariffs that will affect the competitiveness of businesses and the ability of customers in lower economic circumstances to be able to afford energy; and 
 
WHEREAS, alternatives that would achieve the same level of emissions reduction as those targeted in the various EPA proposals can be achieved at much less cost, disruption to local economies, and with less impact to utility customers.
 
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the establishment of state and federal public policies that improve the nation’s energy security and promote energy independence and economic security; and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments recommends that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a process that creates better coordination and communications between generators, FERC, system operators, and state policymakers with the goal of keeping all parties better informed of forthcoming EPA regulations on operating plants; and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments and its members will promote better coordination within the environmental, energy, and financial regulatory communities and amongst state and federal policymakers, FERC, and the electric power sector to ensure electric system reliability and develop reasonable timelines and cost efficiency models that promote cleaner and lower carbon emitting electric generating power plants while minimizing capital costs, rate increases and other economic impacts; and
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments will encourage organizations such as, but not limited to, the EPA, FERC, DOE, NERC, SPP, ERCOT, PJM, MISO, and selected members from NGA, NARUC and Congress to convene coordinating meetings to discuss methods of energy production that are environmentally safe and fiscally beneficial for consumers.
 
Approved on October 23, 2011 at CSG’s National Conference in Bellevue, Washington.