It appears that my celebration was premature. I previously reported that the Obama Administration’s shelving of new, economically-destructive smog regulations meant Texas was off the hook. It now appears that isn’t the case, and we can still expect rolling blackouts (and likely additional heat-related fatalities) thanks to the completely different “cross-state pollution rules:”
The controversial “cross-state pollution” rule, which aims at tightening emissions from power plants in Texas and 26 other states, remains scheduled for implementation in January. The cross-state rule targets nitrogen oxides, an ozone precursor, as well as sulfur dioxide, which is not an ozone precursor but can also cause lung damage.
“The cross state air pollution rule is final,” Betsaida Alcantara, press secretary for the Environmental Protection Agency, which crafted the rule, said in an email.
The cross-state rule requires Texas power plants to lower sulfur dioxide emissions by 46 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 7 percent compared with 2009 levels, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state’s environmental agency.
But the cross-state rule has stirred huge opposition from Texas officials, who say it is onerous and takes effect too quickly. In a statement Friday, the TCEQ said that it hoped the ozone rule pullback “signals that the EPA is beginning to consider science and common sense in their decisions, and we would hope that they would apply this to other regulations such as the proposed cross-state air pollution rule.”
Last week the Texas electric grid operator reported that the cross-state rule could curtail the operations of some coal plants so severely that it could lead to rolling blackouts — an issue that carries heightened visibility as Texas comes off a scorching summer that badly stretched power supplies.
“At least two” rotating outages would have occurred this summer had the pollution rule been in place, said Warren Lasher, an official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator.
So it appears that I was wrong when stating the EPA had come to its senses. In fact, he Obama Administration does still want to kill Texans in the name of radical environmentalism.
BattleSwarmBlog regrets the error.