For Immediate Release: October 27, 2008
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield - 916-654-4989


Workshop to Assess the Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants in California

WHAT: The California Energy Commission's Siting Committee is holding its first hearing that begins an informational proceeding (Order Instituting Investigation [OII]) addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in power plant licensing cases.

The California Energy Commission is the first regulatory agency in the United States to consider a policy that addresses GHG emissions in new power plants and how these emissions are best measured, significant environmental impacts from these emissions and how, if feasible, they should be mitigated.

WHEN: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2008 - 9 a.m.

WHERE: California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento

WHO: Energy Commissioner Jeffrey D. Byron and Commissioner Karen Douglas will be attending and contributing to this meeting. Other Commissioners may participate in the workshop.

Interested parties may attend in person or listen online. The audio of the workshop will be broadcast. To listen in, go to:

To participate by phone, call (888) 946-3801 by 9:00 a.m. and use the Passcode: Greenhouse Gas, Call Leader: Paul Richins.

BACKGROUND: The Energy Commission is the lead agency under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for all thermal power plants (50 megawatts or more) that are proposed for construction and operation in the state. The Energy Commission's licensing process is the equivalent of the CEQA environmental impact report process, which has been certified as an equivalent regulatory program.

The Siting Committee believes that as the lead agency in the power plant licensing process, the Energy Commission has a responsibility to determine if these proposed projects have a significant adverse environmental impact resulting from their GHG emissions and if so, to mitigate such impacts if feasible.

The Siting Committee is beginning an informational investigation, designed to assist the Energy Commission in determining (1) how the GHG emissions of any proposed power plant should be measured; (2) how the Energy Commission could determine if a proposed project's GHG emissions from construction and/or operation of the facility will result in any significant environmental impacts; (3) what, if any, mitigation is feasible; and (4) how this determination coordinates with the forthcoming California Air Resources Board requirements or other programmatic approaches on these proposed power plants.

For more information on this proceeding, go to the Commission's website at: You may also sign-up for this proceeding's e-mail list server and receive electronic notices at this link.

Questions? Contact the Media and Communications Office at (916) 654-4989.

# # #