DTE Energy GHG Reduction Goals 2012
|Company||DTE Energy Co.|
|Filer||New York State Comptroller|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Greenhouse gas and air emissions reduction goals|
|Supporting Memo||Download PDF|
In October 2009, a National Academy of Sciences report stated that the burning of coal to generate electricity in the U.S. causes about $62 billion a year in "hidden costs" for environmental damage, not including the costs for damage associated with GHG emissions. According to the U.S. EPA, monetized costs and benefits of complying with the Clean Air Act and its amendments total over $700 billion and $23 trillion, respectively.
In a joint statement, 285 investors representing more than $20 trillion in assets stressed the urgent need for policy action which stimulates private sector investment into climate change solutions, creates jobs, and is essential for ensuring the long-term stability of the world economic system.
The electric generating industry accounts for more carbon dioxide emissions than any other sector, including the transportation and industrial sectors. U. S. fossil fueled power plants account for nearly 40% of domestic and 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to implement Clean Air Act requirements for large new or modified stationary sources, including power plants, to obtain permits that include greenhouse-gas emission limitations. These requirements are scheduled to take effect in the first half of 2012.
In July 2011, the EPA issued the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and is expected to issue its Mercury and Air Toxics Rule in before the end of 2011. These rules will set significantly more stringent limits on emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and acid gases from power plants. Goldman Sachs estimates that over the next 5-8 years and, “roughly 47% of the coal fleet, 14% of the total US capacity, will need to install new pollution controls or be retired.”
Many utilities, including Xcel Energy, Calpine Corporation, and Progress Energy are planning to replace some of their coal-fired power plants, having determined that alternative such as natural gas, efficiency and renewable energy are more cost-effective than retrofitting the coal plants to comply with anticipated standards.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has announced plans to, over the next five years, idle 1000 MW of coal generating capacity and add 1000 MW of gas and 1140 MW of nuclear generating capacity along with 1900 MW of energy efficiency and distributed renewable resources.
Several electric power companies have set absolute GHG emissions reduction targets including American Electric Power, Entergy, Duke Energy, Exelon, National Grid and Consolidated Edison. Others have set GHG intensity targets, including PSEG, NiSource and Pinnacle West.
Shareholders request that the Company adopt quantitative goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas and other air emissions in anticipation of emerging EPA regulations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2012, on its plans to achieve this goal, including plans to retrofit or retire its existing coal plants. Such a report may omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.