Air quality and climate change regulations continue to be at the center of energy and environmental policy debates. We assist government and regulatory entities, companies, and associations in analyzing and executing strategies to meet both business objectives and environmental regulations.
Brattle economists have actively participated in the development and compliance of the Clean Air Act and related federal and state laws and regulations for more than thirty years. We recently studied the impact of coal-fired power plant closures on visibility and the impact of environmental compliance costs on capacity planning and fuel demand in the Midwest.
We have particular expertise in energy resource planning, risk management, finance, and regulatory economics, which makes us well positioned to assist companies in preparing for climate change legislation and clean energy laws. We have studied the economic impacts of state and federal climate change regulations and the impact of proposed federal emissions regulation on fossil fuel electricity generation.
The uncertain prospects for new CO2 regulation to address global climate change concerns have forced generation owners to incorporate these risks into resource planning, unit valuation, long-term procurement decisions, and corporate strategy. We have assisted several energy sector and utility clients in formulating investment strategies to position their companies in this era of planning uncertainty.
Solar and wind energy projects face their own environmental challenges. Concerns regarding harm to endangered species, threats to wildlife, noise pollution, light pollution, and water requirements are often raised during the approval stages of the projects. The Brattle Group has assisted plant investors in assessing and monetizing these risks.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Review (NSR) enforcement initiative and proposed reforms have focused on maintenance projects that require owners to reassess compliance liabilities and create increased regulatory scrutiny for future capital projects at existing plants. The Brattle Group assists in NSR cases on behalf of our clients and provides ongoing NSR-related compliance analysis.
In addition to CO2 regulatory uncertainty, power plant investors face changes in other air quality regulations, including mercury and regional haze, which have complicated compliance planning. These market and regulatory risks have forced generation owners to conduct investment analyses that take into account substantial uncertainty and investment risk. The Brattle Group assists utility and independent power producer clients in evaluating investments in existing and new generation plants to comply with requirements and manage exposure to future regulatory risk.
Concerns for air quality have motivated more stringent requirements for gasoline and diesel fuel that have required billions of dollars in refining investment. Analyses by The Brattle Group have demonstrated that such requirements may reduce capacity and create logistic and market constraints that would result in regional shortages and volatile prices in excess of those estimated based upon recovery of refining cost increases.