Court delays EPA rule on coal plants
Big polluters have gained yet another delay — they are all acting like this is a big surprise, but the industry has known this was coming for years. Check the bolded part for why it’s needed.
Now, Luminant plans to continue operating the two Monticello units while “closely evaluating business and operational decisions given that this stay does not invalidate the rule, but delays a decision on its implementation until a final court ruling is issued,” the company said in a release.
The Cross-State rule is among several EPA initiatives which have divided the power industry between companies, such as Exelon and NextEra that produce power from less polluting sources like nuclear and natural gas, and others, like American Electric Power Co and Southern Co that rely on coal to generate electricity.
“The underlying rule was the subject of hasty process, poor technical support, unequal application, and substantial threat to jobs, power bills and reliability,” said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.
“Stays are granted when there is a strong chance of success on the merits and when parties can be injured without preliminary relief,” Segal said on Friday.
Proponents of stricter rules say the industry can adapt and they maintain that the costs of implementing the rules will be offset by savings from reduced healthcare expenses.
“The pollution reductions at stake are some of the single most important clean air protections for children, families and communities across the eastern half of the United States,” said Vickie Patton, general counsel for Environmental Defense Fund.
The EPA estimated that the Cross State rule will save up to 34,000 lives, prevent 15,000 heart attacks and prevent 400,000 asthma attacks each year, providing $120 billion to $280 billion in annual health benefits for the nation.
Other states challenging the Cross State rule were Louisiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio and Wisconsin.