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. 
National Journal
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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