On July 7th, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson released the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, the re-named final version of the proposed Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR), to limit the effect of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions across state lines. The rule is intended to require emission reductions from states whose power plants contribute to non-attainment in downwind states. PACE has released the following statement in response to EPA’s action.
The EPA is once again moving to implement burdensome rules with no consideration of its effects on the economy, jobs and consumers. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule will require massive electricity generation facility closures, eliminating thousands of jobs in non-attainment designated states and regions. In cases where the rules result in temporary closure – rather than full facility retirement – reliability is expected to diminish significantly while consumers’ electricity bills skyrocket.
Even more troubling, numerous and significant changes were presented in the final version of the rule such as inclusion of states that previously had been exempt. In Texas, for instance, the agency’s modeling showed no significant impact from Texas’ sulfur dioxide emissions on other states, initially excluding the state in the proposed year-round rule for such emissions.
Unfortunately for states like Texas, the EPA has not provided an opportunity to review and comment on the finalized rule. The EPA’s modeling and assumptions used are flawed, and the process hasn’t been transparent. The impact on electricity prices, jobs, electric reliability and tax revenues will be severe and disproportionately punitive.