EPA Clean Power Plan and Tribes

On October 23, 2015, the EPA published its Proposed Federal Implementation Plan (FIP), which includes Model Rules for Emission Trading, under the Clean Power Plan.  The EPA 90 day comment period expires on January 21, 2016.  Because the Clean Power Plan and the Proposed FIP could be a key opportunity for Tribes to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on tribal lands, Tribes, intertribal organizations, and other parties interested in tribal energy development should strongly consider submitting comments to the EPA.  On January 7, 2016, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP will sponsor a webinar to review the Proposed FIP, and facilitate a discussion about how Tribes, intertribal organizations, and others can provide, endorse, or support comments to the EPA.  See additional information about the webinar below.

As described in our previous blog post, the final EPA rule, proposed federal implementation plan and emissions trading rules reveal several key areas that could positively impact Indian Country and support tribal renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts.  For Tribes, the proposed emission trading schemes also represent another key opportunity to benefit financially from the new Clean Power Plan.  Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on tribal lands and buildings can seek to obtain emission reduction credits (ERCs) or Allowances from either the state or the EPA (depending on who is running the emissions trading program).  Once obtained, these ERCs or Allowances can then be sold to utilities, power plants, and other power producers that need to meet their emission compliance requirements. 

Based on the current proposals, Tribes might consider the following key questions when developing comments:

• Given that the EPA takes the position that, under the Clean Air Act, states do not have jurisdiction over tribal lands, how will EPA treat state implementation plans – and any state emission trading schemes - that include renewable energy or energy efficiency projects on tribal lands?

• If states do not (or cannot) include tribal lands in their implementation plans, should the EPA develop a nationwide federal implementation plan for Indian Country that effectively allows all tribes to link to other emission trading systems? 

• Can a tribe without affected electricity generation units (EGUs) have the option of adopting an individual implementation plan to manage its own energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, contributions toward the total emission reduction goals for the U.S., and the potential economic benefits achieved through participation in the emission trading platform?

• The proposed emission trading model rules contemplates that only wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal resources can earn credits or allowances.  How should the EPA treat other renewable energy sources, such as biomass, waste to energy, biogas, and storage in the emission trading schemes?

• If the EPA administers the emission trading scheme for the federal implementation plan, how will Tribes be allocated ERCs or Allowances for renewable energy or energy efficiency projects on tribal lands?

To discuss these, and other potential questions Tribes may have about the EPA Clean Power Plan Proposed FIP, Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP  will be sponsoring a webinar on January 7, 2016, from 1:30 – 3:00 pm MST.  This webinar will also give Tribes, inter-tribal organizations and others an opportunity to discuss how they can participate in providing comments to the EPA. 

To join the webinar, please follow this link:  https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/205548093.  Meeting id is 205-548-093.  The teleconference number is (866) 496-2887, Bridge 6554, Pin 96554#

For additional information about the webinar, please contact Pilar Thomas at pthomas@lrrc.com, or by phone at (520) 629-4455, for more information.

For more information about the Proposed FIP and Emission Trading rules, see the EPA website and the DOE Office of Indian Energy webinar.

Additional Details

Step 1) On January 7th, join the webinar using this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/205548093.  The meeting ID is 205-548-093. Please test it on your system prior to the webinar to make sure your computer is set up correctly. To do this go to www.gotomeeting.com and enter meeting id 205-548-093. You may receive a Citrix download which you should install.

Step 2) Join the teleconference by calling 1-866-496-2887, then enter this Bridge number: 6554, then enter this Participant PIN number: 96554

Step 3) If you need help, you can find it here: http://support.citrixonline.com/Meeting/all_files/G2M050002.

Speakers are Pilar Thomas of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, Jana Ganion, Energy Director, Blue Lake Rancheria, and Sara Drescher, Attorney, Forest County Potawatomi Community.