Rejected EPA rule has already cost Texas companies billions

Fuel Fix:
While the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow against a landmark rule for regulating emissions from power plants, several of the largest Texas power companies said the ruling will have a minimal impact.

Many companies have already spent the money to retrofit or shut down the coal-fired power plants that were most affected. Other Texas power companies rely more on natural gas or nuclear power and actually supported the Environmental Protection Agency rule that went into effect in April.

The court ruled in a 5-4 split Monday that the EPA did not properly account for industry costs in its rule to regulate the emissions of mercury and air toxics, or MATS.

Houston-based Dynegy already spent about $2 billion to comply with MATS and other air regulations, and the company was not planning to retire any plants, spokesman Micah Hirschfield said.

Likewise, Houston-based NRG Energy acted has already added the necessary equipment to comply with state and federal laws, said David Knox, an NRG senior communications director.

The EPA can still go back to the drawing board on cost-benefit data, while also still moving forward with other planned regulations on carbon emissions. The challenge was brought by industry groups and 21 Republican-led states. The ruling may force the EPA to pay more attention to industry costs going forward.
A rogue agency like the EPA can damage companies before the law catches up- with their confiscatory policies.  It tells you something about the uncontrolled power of the regulatory state in the hands of an ideologue like Obama before the courts can catch up with them.  In the meantime the companies try to recoup their investment by raising rates which means the poor are hardest hit bu the rules.


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