Praise for move to delay EPA's smog rule

Jan. 3, 2012 at 8:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The "rash of regulations" proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking money out of the pockets of taxpayers, a Republican lawmaker said.

A federal appeals court delayed proposed emissions limits for power plants in the United States. The EPA claimed the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from power plants would prevent tens of thousands of reports of illness and save billions of dollars per year in medical costs.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., in a statement praising the delay, said EPA rules made it harder for average Americans to afford to keep the lights on at home.

"The EPA's unprecedented rash of regulations will cost our economy tens of billions of dollars and put at risk tens of thousands of jobs but it doesn't have to be that way," he said. "This court ruling is just the latest signal that EPA has gone too far."

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates surface mining of coal, last year called on the state's attorney general to challenge the EPA's pollution rules.

Texas was one of 27 states required under EPA rules to cut power plant emissions that cross state lines. The state said the rule threatens its citizens' livelihood and would force it to reduce electricity generation.

The commission accused the EPA of making flawed decisions and blamed an "overzealous" U.S. President Barack Obama for deliberately moving to hurt the Texas economy.

The EPA in a statement last week said the pollution measure would ultimately clear the court.

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