Volume 49, Issue 4 - April 2014

Energy&Environment

Supreme Court to Hear Industry Challenge to Proposed EPA Regulations

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), heading a consortium of various associations, including the Glass Association of North America (GANA), began oral arguments before the nation’s highest court in late February, challenging the proposed new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards dealing with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Supreme Court isn’t expected to render a decision until June, but Kim Mann, the Washington, D.C.-based attorney representing GANA, says he expects the outcome to be a close one.

“There is no way to predict how the court will decide this very complex issue,” says Mann. “It should be a close decision–5-4 sounds about right–but GANA and its fellow industry co-petitioners are, as lawyers often say, ‘guardedly optimistic.’ ”

NAM’s argument is that the Clean Air Act does not authorize EPA to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources, such as factories and plants, meaning that plants and factories should not be subjected to the state permitting regimes when companies construct or substantially rebuild or expand those facilities, says Mann.

The court announced in October that it would hear the case.

The announcement came as welcome news to both NAM and GANA officials, who have long decried the proposed EPA measures as government overreach that would prove both costly and threatening to their industries’ global competitiveness.

“No matter what the court decides,” Mann says, “it is likely not the end of the battle over EPA regulations of GHG. What form those future battles take will depend primarily upon what exactly the Supreme Court says in its opinion deciding this case.”

Correction The Cardinal Glass ad that ran in the March issue had an error in the headline. Two words were transposed so the headline read “zero point zero two percent” instead of “zero point two zero percent.” The copy in the ad body was correct: Cardinal’s 20-year IG unit failure rate is 0.2%.

Cardinal sincerely apologizes and hopes this has not caused any confusion.

PPG Awarded DOE Funding to Develop New Window Coating
PPG Industries’ flat glass business has received $312,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a dynamically responsive infrared (IR) window coating.

The funding is part of an award of up to $750,000 being shared with project leader Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The two are working together to design a coating that can switch from a solar IR-reflecting state to a solar IR-transmitting state while maintaining high levels of daylight transmittance in either condition. PPG will provide an additional $78,000 in cost-sharing, according to information from the company.

The coating potentially could be used in both commercial and residential retrofit applications.

“PPG’s glass business is tightly focused on energy-efficiency research and development for windows and more,” says Mehran Arbab, director of glass science and technology for PPG. “Not only is it a market driver for our company, we believe it is simply the right thing to do.”

The two-year project is designed to develop the coatings on a laboratory scale. If development is successful, the product could be scaled up and potentially commercialized within several years, according to PPG.


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