SCOTUS upholds EPA ruling, could impact local power plants - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


SCOTUS upholds EPA ruling, could impact local power plants

WASHINGTON D.C. (KXXV) - The Supreme Court has shed some light on the EPA after upholding a rule they say will reduce air pollution that is blowing into other states.

The ruling could also have a dramatic financial effect on parts of Central Texas. Texas is just one of 28 states that will have to meet these new standards.

The EPA's 2011 cross-state air pollution rule requires plants to lower toxic emissions they say are polluting the east coast.

The agency says the reduction will significantly improve air quality and help plants to attain clean air standards.

But the ruling could cost coal plants millions of dollars a year. Fairfield Mayor Roy Hill, whose city contains a Luminant Energy plant, says this could cause some plants in Central Texas to power down.

“If the power companies do not have the money to be able to fix the problems with new technology then you could see power plants being shutdown temporarily and permanently and as a result of that we could end up with not enough electricity in Texas," says Mayor Hill.

That could lead to rolling brown and black outs and have other far reaching effects.

“If they made them shut those plants down, those guys are not going to all get absorbed in other power plants for a while and we’re going to end up losing some jobs and that’s going to hit the finances of your sales tax for your communities,” says hill. “It will be a really tough blow for us if they start shutting down these power plants.”

Power companies and several states sued to block the rule in 2012 but were over ruled today.

Mayor hill believes there will be appeals and even a motion to have the Supreme Court re-hear the case before the rule is implemented.

Click here to read EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Click here to read Luminant Energy’s response to Tuesday’s SCOTUS ruling.
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