EPA grant to study energy bill surcharge effect on air pollution reduction

Washington, D.C., October 31, 2001 – As part of the ongoing effort to support President Bush’s energy plan, the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $60,000 to the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) in Washington, D.C. to provide states with information on how to design and implement State Public Benefit Charge programs in a way that maximizes air emission reductions.

A Public Benefit Charge is a per-kilowatt hour surcharge on certain industrial and residential customer electric bills that is used to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, like wind power. Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring these surcharges.

EPA realizes, however, that not all energy projects produce equal air emission reductions. Therefore, CCAP will use this grant to analyze the emission reduction potentials of a wide range of energy projects, and recommend criteria for disbursing Public Benefit Charge funds in a way that gets the most reductions.

The grantee will focus the study on two of the 21 states that already have Public Benefit laws, New York and Illinois.

CCAP, founded in 1985 by a bipartisan group of state governors, seeks to promote and implement innovative solutions to major environmental and energy problems by balancing both environmental and economic interests.

Besides CCAP, this project is also being funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund

( http://www.glpf.org/ ) in the amount of $300,000. The Fund, a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states, is a permanent environmental endowment supporting cooperative actions to improve the health of that ecosystem.

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