U.S. court strikes down EPA rule on coal pollution
Posted: August 21, 2012 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Coal, EPA
Environmental groups warned that the decision would put lives at risk
Valerie Volcovici of Reuters reports on a U.S. appeals court check today to the EPA’s penchant for regulation, which overturned the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce harmful emissions from coal-burning power plants. According to the report the ruling sparked a rally in the sagging coal company industry and relief among staggering utility firms.
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in a 2-1 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency had exceeded its mandate with the rule, which was to limit sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 mostly Eastern states and Texas. […]
“Power groups, which had argued that they could not meet the timeframe or bear the financial burden of installing costly new equipment, welcomed the court’s decision. […]
“Coal company stocks, which have suffered this year as cheap natural gas undercut demand for coal from power companies, soared. In morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Peabody Energy was 6.6 percent higher at $24.46, Arch Coal rose 5.8 percent to $7.58 and Consol Energy added 4.4 percent at $34.53.”
UPDATE: From the Washington Examiner piece by Conn Carroll on the decision:
“Under the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision, the EPA is authorized to regulate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions that cross state lines. But the Obama EPA ignored legal precedent and the plain text of the statute by enacting limits that far exceeded the scope of the law. The court’s ruling reads:
EPA seems reluctant to acknowledge any textual limits on its authority under the good neighbor provision. At oral argument, EPA suggested that “reasonableness” is the only limit on its authority to use cost-effectiveness to force down States’ emissions. EPA would not rule out the possibility that under the good neighbor provision, it could require a State to reduce more than the State’s total emissions that go out of State. But such a claim of authority does not square with the statutory text – “amounts” of pollution obviously cannot “contribute” to a downwind State’s pollution problem if they don’t even reach the downwind State.
“Obama’s Cross State EPA rule is just one of many costly regulations currently in the pipeline. The DC Court of Appeals is also hearing an appeal to the EPA’s major stationary source maximum achievable control technology (Utility MACT) rule. That regulation, which limits mercury emissions from power plants, is expected to inflict more than $10 billion of harm on the U.S. economy.”