The field of environmental policy is continually evolving and Con Edison has an emerging issues group specifically focused on following these developments. The overarching goal of the emerging issues function is to ensure that legislative, regulatory, and political/social issues that are in the nascent stages are identified and monitored for their possible impact on the company’s design, operation, and maintenance functions. An effective emerging issues function allows the company to be prepared for changes and adjustments to its plans in a proactive, cost-effective fashion consistent with its goal to be in a leadership position in the industry.
There are three major phases of emerging issue management: monitoring ongoing activity and prioritizing the issues to be tracked; intervening in the process of shaping the issue either through a defined regulatory process or as part of an influence entity (e.g., Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, Clean Energy Group, etc.); and implementing the crystallized issue into the ongoing functioning of the company.
In 2012, the Emerging Issues Group monitored and worked on items such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program review, EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards for combustion turbines, the Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) development, and many others at the local, state and federal levels.