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Barton Applauds Court Decision Blocking Costly EPA Power Rule

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis/Arlington) released the following statement Tuesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia blocked implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This was one of several stringent new EPA rules affecting power plants that are expected to drive electricity prices higher and put jobs at risk. The rule unfairly blamed Texas for pollution that was blowing in from other states and Mexico.

"I'm pleased the court has ruled against this unfair and unworkable regulation. Under EPA's proposal, Texas and other states would be forced to shoulder a disproportionate percentage of the country's emissions reductions, threatening thousands of jobs and electric reliability across the state. This decision comes on the heels of last week's court ruling vacating EPA's disapproval of the Texas Flexible Permit Program. With these decisions, the courts have reaffirmed states' authority and slowed EPA's aggressive regulatory expansion."

NOTE: The opinion reads, "Here, EPA's Transport Rule exceeds the agency's statutory authority in two independent respects. First, the statutory text grants EPA authority to require upwind States to reduce only their own significant contributions to a downwind State's nonattainment. But under the Transport Rule, upwind States may be required to reduce emissions by more than their own significant contributions to a downwind State's nonattainment. EPA has used the good neighbor provision to impose massive emissions reduction requirements on upwind States without regard to the limits imposed by the statutory text. Whatever its merits as a policy matter, EPA's Transport Rule violates the statute. Second, the Clean Air Act affords States the initial opportunity to implement reductions required by EPA under the good neighbor provision. But here, when EPA quantified States' good neighbor obligations, it did not allow the States the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders. Instead, EPA quantified States' good neighbor obligations and simultaneously set forth EPA-designed Federal Implementation Plans, or FIPs, to implement those obligations at the State level. By doing so, EPA departed from its consistent prior approach to implementing the good neighbor provision and violated the Act.

"For each of those two independent reasons, EPA's Transport Rule violates federal law. Therefore, the Rule must be vacated."


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