TOPEKA – (December 30, 2011) – A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked implementation of a new Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would threaten the Kansas electrical supply, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today granted a stay of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which was scheduled to take effect Sunday. Kansas, which filed a lawsuit against EPA in September, had asked the Court to block implementation of the new regulation while the Court hears arguments about it. That request was granted today.
“Today’s ruling is a big win for Kansans concerned about utility bills,” Schmidt said. “Blocking implementation of this regulation will prevent cost increases to energy consumers and will ensure our energy suppliers can continue providing reliable service to Kansans.”
With the regulation on hold pending the outcome of the lawsuit, the Court has set oral arguments in the lawsuit for April 2012. EPA says the new emissions limits on power plants in Kansas would ease air-quality problems in downwind states to the northeast. Kansas continues to dispute the EPA’s analysis of Kansas emission levels, which overestimates the state’s contribution to downwind air quality problems. Kansas also argues that the new regulation will needlessly add millions of dollars of cost to Kansas utilities, which would then be passed through to Kansas consumers in the form of higher electricity rates. The new regulations also would force utilities to divert resources from investments in their existing long-term pollution control plans.
Schmidt said his office will continue to fight to have these regulations permanently overturned by the Court.