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The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) on July 6th of this year, and is scrambling to implement the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule, scheduled to be finalized this November; forcing compliance for both rules by New Year’s Day 2012 and 2015 respectively. Both CSAPR and MACT are part of the EPA’s recent regulatory push that has become known as the EPA Train Wreck. Both rules, aimed at controlling emissions from power plants, are unrealistic in their goals and their hasty implementation risks severe economic repercussions. Congress is set to vote on the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act in the coming days in an attempt to slow the implementation of the CSAPR and MACT rules so that a proper analysis of the necessity and implications of these regulations can be conducted and the findings reported to Congress next year. Initial independent analysis of the CSAPR and MACT rules reveal troubling implications for the economy.
The National Economic Research Associates has projected the following as a direct result of combined CSPAR and MACT implementation:
The Economic Reliability Council of Texas also predicts that compliance within the short time frame set by the EPA could force early retirements of facilities resulting in potential power outages as grids fail to meet demand. Expressing how "deeply concerned" the State of Texas in particular is with these new federal regulations, State Attorney General Greg Abbott recently filed suit against the EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals demanding a review of the regulations.
Preliminary and independent reports already conducted stress the need for a larger and more formal analysis; something the EPA failed to do (find out more here: Bureaucrazies 4: Pants on Fire at the EPA). It’s only fair that Congress and the people of the United States have a chance to evaluate these rules instead of facing the consequences of unilateral and recklessly rapid implementation of these regulations by the EPA. The TRAIN act, if passed and signed by President Obama, has the power to avert the high costs, job losses, and power reliability issues bound to be created by CSAPR, MACT, and the EPA as early as next year.