The future of clean renewable energy from the ocean is highly dependent on addressing carbon, whether through market pricing, a carbon tax, or traditional regulations. The SBAR Panel discussed below provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses like yours to make sure that your interests are reflected in the new greenhouse gas rules. We encourage you to make your voice heard by engaging in this process.
This federal plan is an outgrowth of the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants, also called the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units (79 FR 34830) that were proposed in June, 2014. In these emission guidelines the EPA proposed to set state goals for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel electric generating units (EGUs) after determining the Best System of Emission Reduction (BSER). The proposed BSER is made up of four building blocks: 1) heat rate improvements at coal-fired EGUs, 2) a shift in generation from steam units to natural gas combined cycle units, 3) an increase in non-emitting generation (e.g., renewable energy), and 4) an increase in demand-side energy efficiency. The EPA has initiated this rulemaking for a federal plan as a mechanism for implementation of the emission guidelines for those states that do not develop a state plan. The affected EGUs in the states that do not develop a sufficient state plan as part of the emission guidelines are the entities that will be subject to this rulemaking. This rulemaking will also provide a template for states to use to develop state plans to be submitted for approval for the proposed emission guidelines.
Additional information about the Federal Plan for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Generating Units is available on EPA’s web site: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/fact-sheet-clean-power-plan-carbon-pollution-standards-key-dates.
The EPA expects to conduct a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the development of a proposed rulemaking that will regulate CO2 emissions from EGUs that are not part of an approved state plan for the emission guidelines.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA) requires the EPA to convene an SBAR Panel for a proposed rule unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Panel process offers an opportunity for small businesses, small governments and small not-for-profit organizations (collectively referred to as small entities) to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that the EPA carefully considers small entity concerns regarding the impact of the potential rule on their organizations. The Panel itself is comprised of federal employees from EPA, theOffice of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration (SBA). Small Entity Representatives (SERs) provide advice and recommendations to the Panel. Typically, the EPA prefers that SERs be owners or operators of small businesses, small organization officials or small government officials. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, also may serve as SERs. These other representatives are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Information about what constitutes a “small business” is available at the SBA’s web page on size standards. A “small government” is defined as a jurisdiction serving a population of 50,000 residents or fewer. A “small organization” is defined as any “not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” To learn more, please review EPA’s Small Entities and Rulemaking – Frequent Questions web page.
If you are a small entity that owns/operates a boiler, integrated gasification combined cycle, or combustion turbine that may be directly subject to this rule, you are eligible to serve as a SER. As mentioned above, other representatives that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities may also serve as SERs. The role of a SER is to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that the Panel carefully considers small entity concerns regarding the impact of the potential rule on their organizations and to communicate with other small entities within their sector who do not serve as SERs.
You may nominate yourself to serve as a SER by following the directions in the next section. Depending on the volume of responses, the EPA may not be able to invite all eligible candidates to participate as SERs. Generally, SERs will be asked to review background information, listen to informational briefings, and provide oral and written advice and recommendations to the Panel. At least one face-to-face meeting is typically held with the SERs in Washington, DC; a toll-free conference line is provided for this meeting.
Individuals who are interested in potentially serving as a SER should send a message to RFA-SBREFA@epa.gov or call 202-564-1192 by no later than February 10, 2015. In the message, please provide:
Please remember: Depending on the volume of responses, EPA may not be able to invite all qualified candidates to participate as SERs.