Dems Push for Reinstatement of Transport Rule

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) participates in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on foreclosure justice and causes and effects of the foreclosure crisis. 
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Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Dec. 11, 2013, 1:33 a.m.

Demo­crats voiced sup­port for re­in­state­ment of the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency’s Cross-State Air Pol­lu­tion rule fol­low­ing or­al ar­gu­ments on Tues­day in a Su­preme Court case to de­term­ine wheth­er an eal­ri­er sus­pen­sion of the rule will be up­held or over­turned.

“Air pol­lu­tion doesn’t re­cog­nize state bound­ar­ies, so it is es­sen­tial that EPA have the au­thor­ity to en­force the Clean Air Act’s good-neigh­bor rule, which re­quires up­wind states to curb pol­lu­tion that blows in­to down­wind ones,” House Com­mit­tee on En­ergy and Com­merce rank­ing mem­ber Rep. Henry Wax­man, D-Cal­if., said in a state­ment. “EPA ad­op­ted a reas­on­able ap­proach, which the Su­preme Court should up­hold,” he said.

The Cross-State Air Pol­lu­tion Rule was in­ten­ded to take ef­fect in Janu­ary of 2012 and was de­signed to re­duce the amount of soot- and smog-form­ing emis­sions from power plants in up­wind states from trav­el­ing across state bor­ders in­to down­wind states.

The D.C. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals struck it down, however, last sum­mer. 

Sen. Shel­don White­house, D-R.I., fam­ous for mak­ing weekly ad­dresses on the Sen­ate floor ur­ging Con­gress to act on cli­mate change, sim­il­arly called for the court to re­in­state the rule.

“The Court has an im­port­ant choice: al­low the EPA to do its job and pro­tect the Amer­ic­an people from dirty air, or al­low the big pol­luters to have their way and con­tin­ue dump­ing their pol­lu­tion on down­wind states. I hope the Court will rule in fa­vor of the people.”

Demo­crats back­ing the rule also have a long his­tory of sup­port­ing EPA plans to lim­it car­bon emis­sions from new and ex­ist­ing power plants. 

Justices did not sig­nal what their fi­nal de­cision in the case will be dur­ing or­al ar­gu­ments. A rul­ing is ex­pec­ted to be handed down some­time be­fore the end of June.

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