Growing concern about climate change and the impact to our planet has made the quest for cleaner energy a critical focus.
To address those concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan last year. The rule, scheduled to be finalized this summer, sets a goal of achieving a 30% nationwide reduction from 2005 emissions by 2030. It would impose carbon emission limits on existing power plants. The power sector represents a great opportunity for combating climate change. It is second largest source of greenhouse gas, behind transportation.
I’m proud of the fact that PSEG works diligently to conduct our business in concert with the environment.
PSEG has been an industry leader in tackling climate change and been an outspoken supporter of creating a national framework for reducing power plant carbon emissions. We are supportive of the EPA proposal, though fine-tuning is needed to ensure the final rule attains these reductions while maintaining system reliability. I’m hopeful that the EPA will consider our comments on the proposed Clean Power Plan with thoughtful consideration as they move to finalize the rule this summer.
Since 2007, we have used a three-pronged strategy of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean central station power to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve invested more than $3 billion in support of that strategy.
We have also advocated for energy policies and federal legislation that will help meet carbon reduction goals. We were one of the first companies in our industry to recognize the need to address climate change.
In 2004, through EPA’s Climate Leaders Program, we voluntarily pledged to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 18% from 2000 levels by 2008. We surpassed this goal, achieving a 31% percent reduction within that period. We then established a new goal of reducing GHG emissions 25% from 2005 levels by 2025. In 2011, PSEG met that goal 14 years ahead of schedule. Over half of our power is free of greenhouse gas emissions today.
On the fossil generation side of the business, the area that I serve, we are committed to conducting operations in a way that protects the environment.
We have always had a robust effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. We track our waste management at our sites so we can continue our exemplary performance in this area.
This year, fossil generation will be taking environmental stewardship a step further with a new goal centered on reducing energy consumption and water use across our generation fleet.
There are many areas within our span of control that can have a positive impact on the environment. This can be as simple as installing energy efficient lighting or low flow faucets. Our sites will be able to choose from a menu of options to improve their carbon footprint and the environmental quality of their operations.
Responsible environmental stewardship protects the planet we share; it will remain a core component of our mission as a company.
As we move forward this year, we will continue to work diligently to maintain our reputation as good stewards of the environment. Our goal is to continue to produce energy in an environmentally responsible manner to fuel the economy and keep the lights on.
We continually ask ourselves: How can we become even more responsive to the needs of our customers who depend on the electricity we generate, while doing so at a reasonable cost and with less impact on the environment?
While there are no easy answers, we will keep striving for improvement and stay true to our commitments to protect the environment.
Director, Fossil Environmental Affairs
Makes sense that power plant operators would step up to the climate change challenge.
This excerpt from a recent Record article is very disappointing and not consistent with your commitment to help combat climate change and reduce pollution in NJ.
“Power companies have been turning off pollution control equipment at coal-fired plants and allowing massive amounts of contaminants to escape through the stacks — a practice that is perfectly legal and saves the plants money but ends up contributing to chronic air and health issues in New Jersey. … As a result, some plants logged dramatic increases in nitrogen oxide emissions between 2009 and 2013 — even though the facilities have equipment that could capture up to 90 percent of the pollutant….The Keystone plant in Pennsylvania, co-owned by Exelon and New Jersey-based PSEG Power, released nearly 16,650 tons of the pollutant in 2013, up about 350 percent from 2009”