Appeals court grants stay of new pollution rule

Bryan Cohen Jan. 3, 2012, 3:31am


AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a decision on Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to grant the state's request to stay the cross-state air pollution rule.

Abbott filed the state's motion for stay in September to stop the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that he says jeopardize the reliability of the state's electrical grid, threaten hard-working Texans' jobs and burden Texas families with higher electricity prices.

"The court's decision to issue a stay of the EPA's legally flawed cross-state air pollution rule is a prudent one that now gives the court time to review the regulation and its burdensome effects on Texas," Abbott said.

"The EPA relied on flawed science to advance its aggressive agenda despite the negative effect the new federal regulation would have on Texas' economy, electric grid, and Texans' access to electricity. The Texas attorney general's office will pursue every available legal remedy to prevent the EPA from imposing its cross-state air pollution rule, and the electricity disruptions and blackouts that state utility officials have said this rule will cause."

In the state's stay motion, Abbott's office said that the EPA allegedly failed to comply with laws requiring federal agencies to inform the public of rule proposals in advance so that affected parties can participate in the rule-making process. The EPA also allegedly violated federal law when it denied Texas the ability to participate in the rule-making process by including the state in the final CSAPR regulations without providing Texas the legally required notice.

According to the court's ruling, the CSAPR's implementation is stayed pending a full review by the court of Texas' petition for review. The ruling orders the parties to submit proposed briefing schedules by January 17 so that the case may be heard by April.

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