Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins was joined by all three of her fellow Kansas House delegation members in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting that Kansas be allowed additional time to comply with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The letter submitted to Administrator Jackson is in addition to legislation introduced by Rep. Pompeo (H.R. 4387), along with companion legislation introduced by Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts (S. 2300). The letter language is included below.
States originally included in the rule were given more than four years to prepare and to make necessary changes to their power plants in order to comply with the new clean air requirements. However, Kansas was included only when the CSAPR rule was finalized in July 2011. This means that Kansas-based utilities have had less than one year to comply.
The Kansas House delegation is concerned that Kansas utilities will have to increase rates on Kansas customers in order to comply with the recently imposed environmental regulations. The penalty for not complying will result in significant fines from the EPA -- which, consequently, would ultimately result in higher rates as well.
"Each week when I return home to Kansas, business owners and hardworking Kansans tell me that high energy prices and an alphabet soup of overbearing federal regulators are making it harder to hire and do business," stated Congresswoman Jenkins. "The CSAPR regulation and its unrealistic time frame is just the latest example of the EPA unfairly overreaching and negatively impacting Kansas. Clean air standards are important, but in this fragile economy arbitrary timeframes shouldn't come at the expense of jobs and energy prices."
"Burdensome regulations such as this will result in utility fee increases for customers across our state. High gas prices and the a high unemployment rate are enough signs already that our economy is still hurting," Rep. Kevin Yoder stated. "We want our air to be clean, but we ask the EPA and Administrator Jackson to allow Kansas the same amount of time to comply with these rules as other states."
"EPA's CSAPR has been a disaster from the start, and I am proud to have voted for legislation that would have halted the entire rule. Kansas and other states were especially impacted by their last-minute inclusion in CSAPR. Because Kansas started behind the eight ball, it has been virtually impossible for the utilities in our state to comply in time. Political parties can have legitimate policy disagreements on how to best protect the environment, but I cannot sit back and watch while Kansas is forced to play on an uneven playing field when complying with EPA regulations. Kansans and all Americans deserve reliable and affordable domestic energy, not soaring energy prices and threats of blackouts," stated Congressman Pompeo.
"At a time when our energy sector is already under assault from the EPA, the last thing we need is more regulations that increase energy costs for already overburdened Kansans," Congressman Tim Huelskamp said. "President Obama and Administrator Jackson must realize that their flood of regulations flowing from Washington jeopardizes not only the Kansas' economy, but the entire nation's ability to recover."