Today, in response to an announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will make "technical adjustments" to the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) made the following statement:
"EPA's announcement confirms several major shortcomings with the CSAPR that were highlighted in our Committee's September 15th hearing. These problems include unreasonable timelines, failure to consult stakeholders, and the use of non-transparent models that do not seem to match up with actual pollution measurements.
"EPA's decision to increase emission budgets and allowances for some states and facilities demonstrates the finalized rule lacked sufficient scientific analysis and economic consideration. EPA's process is broken. As we have seen in Texas and throughout the United States, pursuing an "EPA-knows-best' approach to compliance will unquestionably result in increased unemployment, power plant shut-downs, and more expensive, less reliable energy. These proposed revisions still fail to avoid usurping the States' statutory prerogative under the Clean Air Act to develop their own implementation strategies.
"The concept of preventing emissions from significantly affecting the air quality in another state seems reasonable, and states have been making great strides to reduce their cross-state pollution. But they need sufficient time to comply with new restrictions. EPA has options, including continuing to apply the current effective approach under the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), while it takes a time out to finish the homework it should have completed before taking action. Today's announcement is an ad hoc attempt to address certain deficiencies in an inherently flawed rule, but it does not do enough. The CSAPR requires more than just a few "technical adjustments.' EPA needs to step back, reboot, and start over."
Today's announcement follows a September 23rd letter Chairman Hall, along with several Committee members, sent to the EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy, requesting additional information for those affected by the rule.