As the 4th District is set to experience 500 job losses at Luminant, a local power generator, Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) released the following statement:
"At a time when the President is touting the importance of job creation and the valuable role deregulation plays in this process, it is ironic that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is simultaneously implementing its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
"The rule, which the EPA released earlier this summer, requires Texas power generators to make dramatic reductions in emissions beginning January 1, 2012. The implementation of this rule will result in a loss of valuable jobs in the 4th District at Luminant, the largest power generator in Texas. The rule will also seriously jeopardize the ability of the state's electric grid to supply power to Texas businesses and consumers, and will have damaging effects on families and local communities whose economies depend on the success of Luminant's facilities.
"Since the beginning of 2008, Luminant has created approximately 675 net new jobs. However, the EPA's newest rule has forced Luminant to schedule closures of two facilities that will result in 500 job losses. This is unacceptable and nonsensical considering the job climate this country faces.
"Less than a year ago, the EPA concluded that Texas SO2 emissions had no significant downwind effects. By developing flexible approaches to environmental problems while creating jobs, Texas has reduced its sulfur dioxide emission rate to 24% below the national average and its NOxemissions to 42 % below the national rate.
"The EPA, however, has made an abrupt 180 degree reversal without fair notice, mandating compliance to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in less than five months. Typically, it would take several years to comply to this type of mandate.
"In light of this unrealistic EPA regulation, as Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee I have scheduled a timely hearing for Thursday morning to address the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
"Job creation is critically important not only to the 4th District of Texas, but to the entire nation, and there are many victims to the oppressive regulations issued by the EPA. It is my desire that the hearing tomorrow will shed light on the issue, and I hope that alternative compliance approaches can be agreed upon that would prevent closing energy facilities and detrimental job loss."