AUSTIN – Representative Bryan Hughes (Mineola) today issued the following statement on the federal EPA’s new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule:
“It’s no wonder that fewer and fewer people trust the federal government. If the EPA is allowed to implement this new rule, they will kill hundreds of jobs, raise the cost of electricity, and could even cause blackouts in electrical service.
"To comply with the federal EPA's latest edict, Luminant has announced that it will have to shut down many of its operations across Texas. Here in Northeast Texas, Luminant will have to close two of the three units at the Monticello Plant, and cease mining operations at the Thermo Mine.
“I don't know what's going on in Washington, but here in the real world, money is tight and families are struggling. The Monticello Plant and the Thermo Mine employee hundreds of our friends and neighbors. For the federal government to close those operations - especially at a time like this - would be catastrophic for our area.
“As if the job losses weren’t enough, these new rules will also raise electric rates – in the middle of a recession.
“The Public Utility Commission of Texas tells us that if this rule had been in place this summer - with the high temperatures and strain on electric generating capacity - Texas would have had electric service blackouts. The electricity to homes cut off during triple digit heat - this is unbelievable.
“Today I spoke with officials at the Texas Attorney General’s Office to ask them for help, and I am very happy to report that they are already on the job. They’ve filed papers directly with the EPA to challenge this power-grab. The next step will be to bring a case against the EPA in federal court.
“I implore the federal government to reconsider this foolish move. And I applaud the Texas Attorney General for taking the EPA to Court if that’s what it takes.”
Contact: Cody Terry