2011 Groundbreaking Law & Lawyers Survey and Report
Texas power generator Luminant caused a stir this fall when it announced it would mothball two coal-fired power units built in the mid-’70s, as well as three nearby lignite mines as a result of new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Power generators in many states have taken similar steps. Increasingly stringent EPA regulations, combined with persistently cheap natural gas supplies, have accelerated shutdowns at many plants that were reaching the end of their useful lives. But Texas was different—or so it seemed.
EPA had set limits on nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions in Texas under the former Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR)—a Clean Air Act regulation aimed at curbing air pollution that crosses state lines. But the agency omitted Texas from the initial draft of CAIR’s successor, the Transport Rule—which the agency is implementing after a long and somewhat tortuous legal history (see “EPA’s Winding Road”). It came as a surprise this summer, then, when EPA added Texas to the list of 28 states whose emissions would be regulated under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), EPA’s new name for the Transport Rule.