Opposition to New EPA Air Regulations Continues to Grow Across Interest Groups

As the opposition to CSPAR (Cross-state Air Pollution Regulations) spreads across state lines and various groups, there have been over 30 lawsuits filed to challenge the rule. The groups include power companies, cities, states, industry groups, as well as labor organizations. Meanwhile, Luminant continues to push the Administration to carefully consider the inevitable job loss that will result from this rule.

The opposition continues to grow and crosses party lines. In fact, the Austin American-Statesman recently published an op-ed by the Texas Chapter of the AFL-CIO. The piece, entitled, “Cross-State Air Pollution delay would help Texas workers,” emphasized the tough times that workers are facing in Texas and criticized the timeline of CSPAR. Becky Moeller, Texas AFL-CIO President, chastised the EPA for failing to provide an adequate public comment period.

It is important to remember that most parties involved, including Luminant, have made significant efforts to meet Clean Air standards and are willing to work together to ensure that future generations of Texans will have clean air to breathe. In fact, as Ms. Moeller points out, AFL-CIO and Luminant have worked closely together to do just that. This is not an all-out attack on the EPA or environmental standards, but the fact is that the specifics of CSPAR simply do not provide Luminant with the appropriate timeframe to meet the new standards. It’s not just a matter of making changes to equipment – people’s jobs and livelihoods are at stake. Anywhere between 500 and 1000 jobs will be lost. Texans cannot afford this, and the AFL-CIO has spoken out in support of working families who have the most to lose from this unreasonable restriction.

While Luminant continues to push for a stay to the regulation in order to allow the proper time and resources to make the adjustments, last week the Administration asked a federal appeals court to dismiss Luminant’s petition to curb CSPAR. Politico’s Darren Goode recently featured a story that highlighted the ongoing battle between the EPA and Luminant. The Administration’s appeal claims that the EPA “provided detailed and extensive notice and opportunity to comment on the methodology, assumptions and data it used to determine which states would be included in the rule.” The fact is that the updated rule that included Texas was not released until July, thus allowing less than six months for Luminant to comply with CSPAR when the changes required will take years to put in place.

Opposition to CSPAR is widening and the Administration continues to ignore the pleas from the growing list of interest groups to halt this rule. Luminant has been joined by other power companies, cities, states, industry groups, and even labor organizations, all of whom have strong concerns about the implications of CSPAR. 30 lawsuits don’t seem to be enough of a wake-up call for the EPA. The threat of 1000 jobs in Texas alone hasn’t made the EPA budge. Texans cannot afford to wait for a response. My family joins Luminant and the thousands of other families who will be devastated by this regulation in encouraging the Administration to open its eyes and carefully consider the significant job loss in Texas that will inevitably result from CSAPR.

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