Luminant today filed with the United States Environmental Protection Agency its request that the agency reconsider aspects of its final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This filing seeks to have the EPA reconsider the portion of the rule pertaining to electric generating units in Texas and stay that portion of the rule’s January 1, 2012, effective date.
The EPA’s grant of reconsideration would enable Luminant and other Texas stakeholders to comment on the EPA’s inclusion of Texas in the final rule. Luminant’s request represents an opportunity for the EPA to understand the company’s views on the rule.
Luminant maintains in its request for reconsideration that:
- Without fair notice and opportunity to comment, the EPA has mandated that Texas slash its SO2 emissions by half and greatly reduce NOx emissions in less than five months—an unprecedented and impossible compliance timetable.
- The standard time frame for permitting, constructing and installing new emission controls is several years, yet the rule unrealistically allows less than six months. Thus, curtailing plant and/or mine operations will be the only option.
- The state would bear 25 percent of the SO2 reduction burden imposed under this rule, which is more than twice the state’s contribution to the total SO2 emissions of all states included in the rule.
- Having less than a year ago concluded that Texas emissions have no significant downwind effects, the EPA is now mandating these CSAPR reductions because the agency predicts a small contribution from Texas to the air quality at one monitor 500 miles away in Madison County, Illinois — a location EPA itself has concluded is in air-quality attainment.
- These requirements would seriously jeopardize the ability of the state’s electric grid to supply power to Texas businesses and consumers and threaten the loss of hundreds of high-paying jobs.
A large and rapidly growing number of lawmakers, state regulators and others have said the unreasonably short compliance timeline will significantly harm grid reliability, Texas jobs and power prices.
It is notable that the Texas electric grid operator, ERCOT, has set three new demand records in the last five days. During this summer’s sustained heat wave, the grid has experienced numerous reliability alerts, and ERCOT has issued calls for conservation and interrupted power to industrial and commercial customers to avoid resorting to rotating outages. With the removal of power generation from the market to comply with this rule, the EPA’s recent action threatens electric reliability in Texas.
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Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is also the largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in Texas and fifth largest in the United States. EFH is a Dallas-based energy holding company that has a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries, primarily in Texas. Visit www.luminant.com or www.energyfutureholdings.com for additional information.