Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


Georgia Sues U.S. EPA to Challenge Costly Air Pollution Rule

October 6, 2011

On Thursday, October 6, 2011, Attorney General Sam Olens filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to halt a new, job-stifling regulation that will likely have severe economic repercussions on Georgia citizens and businesses if implemented. Georgia is challenging the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), finalized by the EPA this summer. The rule requires draconian reductions in certain emissions in a very short period of time, and will cause major changes to the way electricity will be produced in the state starting January 1, 2012.  The rule also puts Georgia at a disadvantage relative to neighboring states by giving other states far more emission credits.

“The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule gives Georgia only five months to essentially overhaul the way electricity is generated in our state,” Olens said. “The EPA has overstepped their authority with a heavy-handed federal takeover of the enforcement of environmental regulations. More significantly, implementation of the rule will be extremely damaging to our already struggling economy. This new rule will disproportionally harm Georgia -- the federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.”

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill heard last month from Chairman Stan Wise of the Public Service Commission of Georgia on the numerous regulations coming from EPA, including CSAPR. Chairman Wise told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “From the proposed [CSAPR] rule to the final rule, there were very significant changes. For Georgia, the state lost substantial emissions allowances (thus making it harder for the state to comply). Thus [...] any actions taken by the utilities in Georgia based on the proposed rule would have likely been inadequate ...”

Georgia joins a list of other states to challenge the EPA’s CSAPR rule. Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia have also filed suit over the rule.

Click here to view Stan Wise’s written testimony. A copy of the lawsuit is attached.

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