Now is the time to take action...

Half of states’ Attoneys General weigh in to delay EPA rules, U.S District Judge rejects the request

While members of the U.S. House of Representatives and some U.S. Senators continue to press legislation to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a more holistic review of the rules and their impact, efforts also were underway in the courts. 

The Attorneys General of half our nation’s states, led by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, filed an amicus brief supporting efforts to obtain a one-year delay in the implementation of new rules being developed by the EPA.  The amicus brief was filed in support of a motion filed by the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) with the US District Court for the District of Columbia on October 7.  The motion sought to reopen the consent decree under which EPA agreed to finalize a rule to reduce emissions of mercury and other air emissions from fossil-fuel-fired electric generation this year.  It asked the court to allow EPA to "take a step back" to consider the massive amounts of comments on the proposed standard and delay issuance of the rule for one year.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer formally denied the effort on October 24.

"Michigan's fragile economy cannot afford the job losses and skyrocketing electricity rates that would accompany the premature implementation of this new federal regulation," Schuette said when the motion was originally filed.  "Half the states have banded together to ask the Court to press the ‘pause’ button.  It's not unreasonable for the EPA to take more time to address our concerns about the job-killing impact of this proposed emissions framework."

The 25 states that came together in filing the brief were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming as well as the territory of Guam.

For his part in seeking the delay, Michigan Attorney General was chided by an October 26 Detroit Free Press editorial headlined “Polluters have a friend in Attorney General Schuette.”  “Yes, he has cited some practical concerns about the cost of pollution controls and the crimp on electricity supplies of old plants have to be shut too quickly.  Pollution controls do not come free,” the editorial said.

Take action now...

We encourage you to show your support for this common-sense approach.  Ask your Senators to encourage the Senate leadership to take up the TRAIN Act and support it when it comes up.

Support this effort by registering to the right and emaling your U.S. Senator.



    New EPA regulations ARE coming...

    The TRAIN Act would mitigate the EGU MACT Rule and other regulations now being considered by the EPA that have the potential to force many U.S. power companies in the Midwest and Southwest to retire up to 20-30% of their existing coal-fired fleet unless more time is allowed for them to retrofit their generating units.



    New technologies exist…

    As a result of new, available technologies and stricter state and federal regulations, coal-fired plants are cleaner today than they’ve ever been.  While power companies are seeking more time to install the technologies necessary to reduce emissions, there’s no desire to backtrack from continuing to make power generation cleaner in the future. Unrealistic compliance deadlines will only result in the shutdown of plants, putting additional strain on the remaining plants and the power grid.When those plants close, thousands of jobs will be lost, and communities will lose desperately needed revenue.



    Site by site; state by state…

    For more than 30 years, the EPA and state governments worked together to apply standards and regulations on a site-by-site basis with the state authorities taking primary responsibility for implementation of new technologies. State governments, with their knowledge of local conditions and limitations, would address proposed rules.

    Unfortunately, the EPA is not adapting a similar approach to minimize the impact of tight timetables, and is instead proposing strict, national standards that are unrealistic.

    Every family will pay the price, though. With fewer plants generating power, the cost of electricity will go up for all of us.



    Ignores state governments…

    This method takes away the technology determination from state governments and ignores the reduction technologies already approved by these states as the best technologies available.

    By doing so, the EPA is proposing rules that cost far more than the estimated benefits—according to its own estimates. 



    Local discretion urged…

    We believe discretion should be given to the state regulatory and environmental authorities to perform site –specific assessments that determine the best technologies available to each utility.  The ability to select from a full rage of compliance options would help to minimize adverse impacts to the economy as well as the environment.



    We seek a balanced approach and realistic timetables…

    We’re not asking to back away from the environmental progress or the goals that the regulations are intended to achieve, only that we are given enough time to minimize the financial impact on our costumers, employees and communities—and the flexibility to manage an approach that is beneficial to all parties. That’s what this new legislation hopes to accomplish.

Support the new legislation…

Please contact your U.S. Senators and urge them to support the common sense approach embodied in the TRAIN Act.  Maintaining the current deadline of 2015 would only threaten the stability of the nation’s electrical system, stall the fragile economic recovery throughout the Midwest and the South, and result in little or no discernable benefits to the environment.

Thank you.

Keep Our Power Affordable

Affordable power in a fragile economy.


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