Clear Skies in Nebraska
Highlights of Clear Skies in Nebraska
- Nebraska sources would reduce emissions of SO2 by 2%, NOx by 42%, and mercury by 2% by 2020 due to Clear Skies.
- The health benefits in Nebraska would total $530 million ($100 million under the alternative estimate) and include approximately 70 fewer premature deaths (40 under the alternative estimate) and 200 fewer hospitalizations/emergency room visits.
- In addition, Nebraska would receive environmental benefits, including improved visibility and reduced nitrogen deposition..
- Clear Skies does not significantly impact electricity prices. With or without Clear Skies, electricity prices in the electricity supply region that includes Nebraska are expected to remain near or below 2000 prices.
Clear Skies: An Innovative Approach to Improving Human Health and the Environment
Why Clear Skies?
- Air quality has improved, but serious concerns persist
- Nebraska's citizens suffer ill effects from air pollution, including asthma attacks and premature death.
- Electricity generation sector remains a major emissions source
- Very cost-effective to control the power sector, relative to other sources
- Sources are concerned about upcoming complex and burdensome regulations.
Advantages of the Clear Skies Approach
- Guarantees significant nationwide emissions reductions - beginning
years before full implementation
- Nebraska sources would reduce emissions of NOx and hold the line on SO2 and mercury.
- Delivers dramatic progress towards achievement of critical health and environmental goals.
- Uses proven, market-based flexible approach with incentives for innovation
- Recognizes environmental needs as well as industry constraints,
allowing industry to better manage
its operations and finances while lowering risks to the public
- Sources are projected to install pollution controls to enable continued reliance on coal.
- Increases certainty across the board for industry, regulators, and consumers.
Under Current Clean Air Act Power Plants Would Face a Complex Set of RequirementsFor a larger image, click here.
Clear Skies Sets a Firm Timeline for Emission Reductions
|The existing Title IV SO2 cap-and-trade program provides an incentive and a mechanism to begin reductions upon enactment of Clear Skies years before regulatory action under the current Act.|
2004: The NOx SIP call (summertime NOx cap in 19 Eastern States + D.C.)
2008: Clear Skies NOx Phase I (2.1 million ton annual cap assigned to two Zones with trading programs)
- Clear Skies Hg Phase I (26 ton annual cap with a national trading program)
- SO2 Phase I (4.5 million ton annual cap with a national trading program)
- Clear Skies NOx Phase II (1.7 million ton annual cap assigned to two Zones with trading programs)
- Clear Skies Hg Phase II (15 ton annual cap with a national trading program)
- Clear Skies SO2 Phase II (3.0 million ton annual cap with a national trading program)
Clear Skies Health and Air Quality Benefits in Nebraska
|By 2020, Nebraska would receive approximately $530 million in annual health benefits from reductions in fine particle and ozone concentrations alone due to Clear Skies. (see note 1)|
Improve Public Health
- Reduced ozone and fine particle exposure by 2020 would result
in public health benefits of:
- approximately 70 fewer premature deaths each year (see note 1)
- approximately 100 fewer cases of chronic bronchitis each year
- approximately 200 fewer hospital and emergency room visits each year
- approximately 8,500 fewer days workers are out sick due to respiratory symptoms each year
- approximately 1,800 fewer school absences each year
- Reduced mercury emissions would reduce exposure to mercury through consumption of contaminated fish, resulting in additional, unquantified benefits for those who eat fish from mercury-contaminated lakes and streams in Nebraska.
Help Maintain Health-Based Air Quality Standards (see note 2)
- Currently, all counties meet the 8-hour ozone and fine particle standards.
- Clear Skies would further reduce concentrations of ozone and fine particles throughout Nebraska.
Clear Skies Environmental Benefits in Nebraska
Clear Skies Would Provide Environmental Benefits in Nebraska
In comparison to existing programs,
- Visibility would improve perceptibly in Eastern Nebraska.
- The value of this benefit for Nebraska residents who visit National Parks and wilderness areas nation wide is $13 million.
- Sulfur deposition would decrease by 15-30% in the central portion of the state and up to 15% in the rest of the state.
- Nitrogen deposition, a cause of damage to nitrogen-sensitive
coastal waters, including the Gulf of Mexico hypoxia zone, would
decrease 5-20% throughout large portions of Eastern Nebraska
- Mercury deposition would decrease up to 15% in the easternmost part of the state.*
* These results are based on modeling the Clear Skies mercury cap without triggering the safety valve.
Emissions in Nebraska under Clear Skies
Emission reductions in Nebraska (2020) compared to the base case:
Emissions: Current (2000) and Existing Clean Air Act Regulations (base case*) vs. Clear Skies in Nebraska in 2010 and 2020
Note: The base case using IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated.
SO2 and NOx Emissions Reductions under Clear Skies
Note: The base case using IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated. Emissions projected for new units are not reflected.
Electricity Generation in Nebraska under Clear Skies
Current and Projected Generation by Fuel Type in Nebraska under Clear Skies (GWh)
Emission Controls in Nebraska under Clear Skies
Units in Nebraska Projected to Be Retrofitted Due to Clear Skies by 2020
|Plant Name||Unit ID||Technology|
* Retrofit was installed under Clear Skies by 2010
Note: Retrofits and total coal-fired capacity apply to coal units greater than 25 MW.
Electricity Prices in Nebraska under Clear Skies
|In 2000, the average retail electricity price in Nebraska was approximately 5.3 cents/kWh, which was below the average national retail price of approximately 6.7 cents/kWh.|
Note: The base case using IPM includes Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in CT, MA, MO, NC, NH, TX, and WI. It does not include mercury MACT in 2007 or any other potential future regulations to implement the current ambient air quality standards or other parts of the Clean Air Act. Base case emissions in 2020 will likely be lower due to state and federal regulatory actions that have not yet been promulgated.
Costs and Benefits in Nebraska under Clear Skies
Benefits Outweigh the Costs
- In Nebraska, Clear Skies is projected to cost approximately $14 million annually by 2020 while providing health benefits totaling approximately $530 million annually.
- The increases in production costs under Clear Skies represent
only a small percentage of total retail electricity sales revenue
- Retail electricity sales revenue in Nebraska was $1.3 billion in 2000.
- Adjusting these sales revenues by the same growth rate used for the modeling of costs would result in revenues of almost $2.0 billion annually in 2020.
- Nationwide, the projected annual costs of Clear Skies (in $1999)
are $4.3 billion in 2010 and $6.3 billion in 2020; the nationwide
benefits of Clear Skies are expected to be over $113 billion annually
- An alternative estimate projects annual health benefits totaling $23 billion.
Note: Costs include capital costs, fuel, and other operation and maintenance costs (both fixed and variable) associated with the achievement of the emissions caps in the legislation (for example, the installation and operation of pollution controls). These state-level production costs are estimates; they do not account for the costs associated with the transfer of electricity across regions, nor the costs or savings that could be associated with allowance movement between sources.
Notes on EPA's Analysis
- The information presented in this analysis reflects EPA's modeling
of the Clear Skies Act of 2003.
- EPA has updated this information to reflect modifications:
- Changes included in the Clear Skies Act of 2003.
- Revisions to the Base Case to reflect newly promulgated rules at the state and federal level since the initial analysis was undertaken.
- The Clear Skies modeling results presented include the safety valve feature
- EPA has updated this information to reflect modifications:
- This analysis compares new programs to a Base Case (Existing Control Programs), which is typical when calculating costs and benefits of Agency rulemakings.
- The Base Case reflects implementation of current control programs
- Does not include yet-to-be developed regulations such as those to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
- The EPA Base Case for power sector modeling includes:
- Title IV, the NOx SIP Call, NSR settlements, and state-specific caps in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin finalized before March 2003.
- For air quality modeling, the Base Case also includes federal and state control programs, as well as the Tier II, Heavy Duty Diesel, and Nonroad Diesel rules.
State information based on EPA's modeling of the Clear Skies Act of 2002 is presented here for archival reasons.