[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 160 (Friday, August 17, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 49701-49702]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20122]



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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 160 / Friday, August 17, 2012 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 49701]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

10 CFR Parts 430 and 431

[Docket Number EERE-2010-BT-NOA-0028]
RIN 1904-AC24


Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products and Certain 
Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Notice of Policy Amendment 
Regarding Full-Fuel-Cycle Analyses

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy.

ACTION: Notice of policy amendment.

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SUMMARY: On August 18, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 
announced its intention to use full-fuel-cycle (FFC) measures of energy 
use and greenhouse gas and other emissions in the national impact 
analyses and environmental assessments included in future energy 
conservation standards rulemakings. While DOE stated in that notice 
that it intended to use the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and 
Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model to conduct the analyses, the 
Department also said that it would review alternative methods, 
including the use of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) 
developed by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). After 
evaluating both NEMS and GREET, DOE has determined that NEMS is 
ultimately a more appropriate tool to calculate FFC measures of energy 
use and greenhouse gas and other emissions. Therefore, DOE intends to 
use the NEMS model, rather than the GREET model, as the basis for 
deriving the energy and emission multipliers used to conduct FFC 
analyses in support of future energy conservation standards 
rulemakings. The public is free to send in comments on this policy 
amendment at any time. DOE will address comments on this policy 
amendment in the first notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to utilize 
the NEMS-based approach for the FFC.

DATES: August 17, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit comments using 
the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments. Alternatively, interested 
persons may submit comments, identified by docket number EERE-2011-BT-
NOA-0028, by any of the following methods:
     Email: To FFC-2010-NOA-0028-ee.doe.gov. Include EERE-2011-
BT-NOA-0028 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, Notice of Policy 
Amendment to Full Fuel Cycle Analyses, EERE-2011-BT- NOA-0028, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585- 0121. Phone: (202) 586-
2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary 
to include printed copies. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, 
U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 6th Floor, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Phone: (202) 586-2945. If 
possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to 
include printed copies. Instructions: All submissions received must 
include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this rulemaking.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents, or 
comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Jeremy Dommu, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-2J, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 
(202) 586-9870. Email: Jeremy.Dommu@ee.doe.gov.
Ms. Ami Grace-Tardy, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General 
Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-
0121. Telephone: (202) 586-5709. Email: Ami.Grace-Tardy@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Introduction and Discussion

    On August 18, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a 
policy statement announcing its intention to use full-fuel-cycle (FFC) 
measures of energy use and greenhouse gas and other emissions in the 
national impact analyses and environmental assessments included in 
future energy conservation standards rulemakings. (76 FR 51281) While 
DOE stated in that notice that it intended to use the Greenhouse Gases, 
Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model to 
conduct the analysis, the Department also said that it would, from time 
to time, review alternative approaches to estimating these factors, 
including use of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) developed 
by DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). (76 FR 51287) As 
indicated in the FFC policy statement notice, NEMS would continue to be 
utilized by DOE to estimate primary (or site) energy consumption for 
national impact analyses and environmental assessments, while GREET 
would be used to develop the energy and emission multipliers necessary 
to convert the NEMS-based primary energy and emission impacts into FFC 
values. Because of concerns about the potential effects of certain 
inconsistencies in the underlying assumptions and forecasts used by 
GREET and NEMS, subsequent to publication of the policy statement, DOE 
initiated a further review to determine whether NEMS (rather than 
GREET) might be used to develop the necessary FFC multipliers.
    During this review process, DOE examined a new methodology to 
develop FFC multipliers using the data and projections generated by 
NEMS and published in EIA's Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). While the AEO 
does not provide direct calculations of FFC metrics, it does provide 
extensive information about the energy system, including projections of 
future oil, natural gas and coal supply, energy use for oil and gas 
field and refinery operations, and fuel consumption and emissions 
related to electric power production. This information is used to 
define a set of parameters representing the amount of energy used in 
the fuel production chain. For example, the petroleum fuel production 
chain consists of extraction, separation, refining and distribution of 
final

[[Page 49702]]

products to the end user. Each of these process steps consumes energy 
in the form of diesel or fuel oil, natural gas, or grid electricity. 
The data are used to estimate an intensity parameter for each fuel 
type, which is equal to the total amount of that fuel needed to produce 
one unit of the final product. The FFC energy and emissions factors are 
defined as a function of these parameters, using a formula that is 
described in detail in: ``A Mathematical Analysis of Full Fuel Cycle 
Energy Use''; [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544211006803] \1\ Energy, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 
698-708;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Coughlin, Katie (2012). A Mathematical Analysis of Full Fuel 
Cycle Energy Use. Energy, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 
698-708.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By using the FFC multipliers derived from NEMS, DOE would be able 
to ensure that the assumptions and inputs used in FFC analyses are 
consistent with the assumptions and inputs used to estimate primary 
energy savings and emissions impacts. In addition, this approach would 
make it easier for DOE to update the multipliers with each new edition 
of the AEO. The GREET model, in contrast, uses a representation of the 
energy production system to develop its own internal projections, which 
inevitably will differ some from those in the AEO.
    Based on this assessment, DOE is proposing to use this NEMS-based 
approach to estimating the FFC energy and emission impacts of 
alternative energy conservation standards levels in energy conservation 
standards rulemakings that reach the notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NOPR) stage after August 17, 2012. Rulemakings that do not reach the 
NOPR stage before August 17, 2012 will continue to use the estimates of 
primary energy and emission impacts described in the notices of 
proposed rulemaking. DOE has not used the GREET model to estimate FFC 
energy and emission impacts in any past or current rulemakings but has 
started to use the NEMS-based approach to estimating these impacts in 
several energy conservation standards preliminary analyses.

II. Public Participation

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit comments on this issue 
in writing at any time. In addition, interested parties will have an 
opportunity to review and comment on the specific methodologies 
employed by DOE to calculate FFC energy and emission impacts in NOPRs. 
See the ADDRESSES section of this notice for more information on how to 
submit a comment.

III. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review

A. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act 1969

    DOE has determined that this policy amendment falls into a class of 
actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's 
implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this policy 
amendment describes methods for data analysis and how DOE plans to 
incorporate such data analysis into future energy conservation 
standards. For this reason, and because the policy amendment does not 
establish an energy conservation standard or take any action that might 
have an impact on the environment, it is covered by the Categorical 
Exclusion A9 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D. Accordingly, neither an 
environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is 
required.

B. Review Under the Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review

    In consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy 
(OSTP), OMB issued on December 16, 2004, its ``Final Information 
Quality Bulletin for Peer Review'' (the Bulletin). 70 FR 2664 (Jan. 14, 
2005). The Bulletin establishes that certain scientific information 
shall be peer reviewed by qualified specialists before it is 
disseminated by the Federal government, including influential 
scientific information related to agency regulatory actions. The 
purpose of the Bulletin is to enhance the quality and credibility of 
the government's scientific information. Under the Bulletin, NEMS is 
``influential scientific information,'' which the Bulletin defines as 
``scientific information that the agency reasonably can determine will 
have or does have a clear and substantial impact on important public 
policies or private sector decisions.'' 70 FR 2664, 2667 (Jan. 14, 
2005). The NEMS model, which is in the public domain, has been reviewed 
through its development and applications over the past 18 years.

IV. Approval of the Office of the Assistant Secretary

    The Assistant Secretary of DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy has approved publication of this final policy.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 9, 2012.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2012-20122 Filed 8-16-12; 8:45 am]
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