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Texas sues EPA over cross state air pollution rule

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Thursday asked a federal court to impose a stay on EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, saying that the EPA Administrator failed to comply with federal laws when the cross-state air pollution rule was issued in July of 2011. The lawsuit follows Dallas based Luminant’s announcement that the new rule will force them to shut down two coal plants and three mines, cutting 500 jobs.

“The EPA’s latest overreaching and unlawful regulations jeopardize the availability of reliable electricity in Texas, imperil hundreds of jobs for hardworking Texans, and violate federal law”, Attorney General Abbott said.

According to the motion filed with the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit, EPA failed to inform the public of rule proposals in advance thus denying Texas and its electric generators the opportunity to prepare or object before the regulations were finalized.

But that is not true says EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. EPA did extensive outreach to the industry before releasing the rule, and the cross-state rule updates a program that has been in place since the Bush administration.

“The EPA’s job is to enforce the law and protect health. It is up to business to make business decisions – not the government”, said Armendariz.

The EPA rule requires Texas to cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 47 percent beginning January 1, 2012.

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