AUSTIN – Today’s ruling by the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) is a clear victory for state authority under a federalist system of government, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
“The Court repeatedly notes the statutory division between EPA’s authority to set national air quality standards and the states’ primary authority for determining how to achieve those standards,” said Kathleen Hartnett White, director of the Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment. “Today’s ruling is yet another instance where the federal courts have had to blow the whistle on the EPA and move it back to its side of the boundary.”
The Court not only found that EPA had exceeded its authority under federal law, but it took the unusual step of completely vacating the regulation rather than sending it back to the agency for revision.
“The Court agreed with the State of Texas that EPA had improperly used a top-down Federal Implementation Plan that denied states the fundamental authority given to them in choosing how to meet federal environmental standards by the clear terms of the Clean Air Act,” White said. “The Court also found that the rule mandated far greater emission reductions than authorized by the Clean Air Act to avoid interstate transport of pollutants.”
If implemented, CSAPR could have proven devastating to Texas’ electrical reliability. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Texas would have experienced rolling blackouts had CSAPR been in effect during the summer of 2011.
Kathleen Hartnett White is director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She was commissioner and chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality from 2001 to 2007.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
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