On February 22, INGAA attended a working group kick-off meeting of the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) and World Resources Institute (WRI) protocol initiative. The purpose of this project is to produce a guidance document and protocol for accounting emissions from Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution assets. The CCAR document will be used by entities participating in the voluntary California registry; WRI on the other hand is developing a protocol for use worldwide. Finally, under the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is required to develop rules for mandatory GHG reporting. They are participating in this process with the intent of learning what they can incorporate into their mandatory program. It is unclear if pipeline activities will be included in the CARB program.
The working group is reviewing an options document from which the protocol will be developed. INGAA’s initial review resulted in concerns about reliance on information more suited to upstream (E&P) operations, reporting of very small or diminimus sources, and a general lack of understanding about pipeline activities and GHG emissions sources. The protocol is expected to be completed by early 2008.
On February 27, Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) sent letters to more than two dozen unions, environmental, and industry groups, including INGAA, AGA, and API, soliciting views about a possible climate change bill. The letters raise a number of critical questions tied to drafting climate change legislation, including what industrial sectors should be regulated, what timelines should be used for emission cuts and how to set up a cap-and-trade market to limit emissions in the most cost-effective way. Groups have until March 19 to respond. The INGAA CEO GHG Task Force has scheduled a meeting for March 12 to develop a draft response that will be circulated to the full Board shortly thereafter.
INGAA has recently contracted with SAIC to conduct a long-term economic analysis of various global climate change proposals in order to determine their impact on natural gas transmission pipelines and the natural gas industry. Many of these proposals include optimistic assumptions regarding future technology availability and nuclear build out. In many cases, significant capital is extracted from the natural gas value chain and reallocated to other parts of the economy.