Chemists say Program Victimizes Sector’s Energy Efficiency

A federal program in the United States is a significant impediment and disincentive to the chemical industry’s ability to increase energy-efficiency, expand energy generation and improve air quality, according to the industry group.

WASHINGTON, DC, US , 2001-07-30 [SolarAccess.com] A federal program in the United States is a significant impediment and disincentive to the chemical industry’s ability to increase energy-efficiency, expand energy generation and improve air quality, according to the industry group. The New Source Review (NSR) program of the Environmental Protection Agency is cumbersome, although it is aimed at producing environmental improvements, according to Ted Cromwell of the American Chemistry Council Air Team.. “We strongly encourage the Administration and the EPA to take a hard look at comprehensively fixing the NSR program to make it more reasonable,” he says. “We feel that it would be extremely shortsighted to only fix some problems with NSR, while failing to address the concerns of industry sectors like ours that contribute to energy efficiency and conservation.” The chemical industry is the largest industrial energy consumer in the U.S., he explains, representing 7 percent of the country’s total energy consumption, or 6.31 quads. “Simplifying the NSR program would offer significant benefits to improved energy efficiency and improved air quality,” he adds. “Changes would result in a streamlined regulatory permitting program that encourages beneficial projects that promote conservation and investment in the development of cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies.” “The detrimental effects of the NSR program are felt at the operational level,” he adds. “Chemical plants perform ongoing maintenance and process improvements to keep their equipment operating safely, reliably, and efficiently; regain lost capacity; produce more energy; use energy more efficiently; decrease emissions; and provide competitive flexibility.” Recent EPA interpretations will make these improvements subject to the NSR process, and he says companies are abandoning necessary improvement projects, many of which offer real environmental and energy-related benefits. Since 1974, the chemical industry has decreased energy use per unit output by half, he explains. The industry has reduced overall emissions by 58 percent while production has increased 18 percent. The statement was issued following a hearing in Baton Rouge, the last of four public meetings sponsored by the EPA as part of a 90-day review and Report to the President that is required by the National Energy Policy:
Previous articleCompany to Sell Photovoltaic Panels at US$2.50
Next articleGreen Power Supplier Gives Out Perks

No posts to display