BREAKING: Court tosses EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

The rule was vacated primarily because EPA failed to provide states with the opportunity to set their own emission standards first, as required by the Clean Air Act. Constitution? What Constitution?

Click for Bloomberg coverage.

Click for the decision.

Below is the release from House Science Committee Chairman Ralph Hall

August 21, 2012
Press Contact: Zachary Kurz

Chairman Hall Statement on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Washington DC – Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) released the following statement after this morning’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling in EME Homer City Generation, L.P v. EPA on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule:

“I applaud this morning’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reject the EPA’s proposed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, one of the Obama Administration’s many job-killing regulations partly responsible for the country’s current economic weakness.

The EPA’s arbitrary and rushed Rule threatened hundreds of good-paying jobs in my district, and would have resulted in higher costs and less reliable electricity throughout the country. It was based more on an ‘EPA-knows-best’ approach than objective science, and was flawed by unreasonable timelines, lack of state or industry consultation, black box models, insufficient cost-benefit analysis, unverifiable health claims, and an overreliance on computer models instead of actual pollution measurements.

The Court echoed concerns raised repeatedly by the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in hearings and letters in stating that the Cross-State Rule ‘stands on an unsound foundation,’ and that the Clean Air Act is ‘not a blank check for EPA’ to establish nonsensical and heavy-handed edicts on states like Texas.

EPA officials have stated they will be ‘very sensitive’ to stakeholders if forced to reassess this rule, and I hope they will live up to that promise. As I stated in October of last year when the Agency had to make hurried ‘technical adjustments’ to fix glaring problems in the rule’s allocations, EPA needs to step back and reconsider its approach. I look forward to questioning EPA further on this matter.”

3 thoughts on “BREAKING: Court tosses EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule”

  1. At this point in time, the EPA does not have and can not provide the data sets used in the papers they are relying on. Until they do have and release the data, it is “trust me” science.

  2. Tad, I have to agree with you, partly. The court IS empowered to stop blatantly overreaching authority and to vacate laws that make no sense or put undue or discriminatory burdens on sectors.

    The Texas argument in particular was quite strong. The restrictions were ludicrous in scope (90+% reduction in SO2) and timeframe (<3 years if I remember), the justification flimsy beyond reckoning (modeling says that Texas caused PM10 excursions in Granite City, Indiana but nowhere else including Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska. Oh, and Granite City is within PM10 NAAQS compliance), and we had no opportunity to challenge it (Texas was not included in the proposed regulation, but they were in the final rule).

  3. The court is neither qualified nor empowered to pass judgement on the scientific or sociological justifications EPA has invoked for their scheme. The court is fully justified (and unlikely to be over-ridden) in passing judgement on the lack of legality of the effort.
    Unless Congress changes the Law in favor of bureaucratic authoritarianism, necessarily forfeiting some of their own power in the process, the EPA will have to eat this one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.