2011 News Releases

Attorney General Schmidt asks EPA to withdraw new air regulation

Release Date: Aug 05, 2011

TOPEKA – (August 5, 2011) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a proposed new regulation that is expected to raise the price of electricity in Kansas.

Schmidt and eight other attorneys general wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking her to withdraw a proposed new regulation that would require utilities to use “Maximum Achievable Control Technology,” also known as the MACT Rule. The attorneys general objected to the new regulation on the basis that the EPA failed to follow a directive from President Obama to analyze the cumulative effect of all of its proposed new regulations before imposing more regulation.

“In evaluating the proposed Utility MACT Rule, a cumulative impact analysis is especially important because of the large number of related regulations the EPA has adopted, has proposed for adoption, and/or is currently considering proposing,” the attorneys general wrote. “In our judgment, it would be arbitrary and capricious for your agency to adopt the proposed Utility MACT Rule without conducting a cumulative impact analysis.”

Although the EPA did not conduct an analysis of the cumulative effect of new regulations, a private industry group has done so. An analysis of the proposed new MACT Rule coupled with a separate new proposed regulation, the so-called Transport Rule, shows that the two together would raise electricity rates on Kansans by an estimated 12.8 percent by 2016. Other parts of the country would see rate increases as high as 23 percent.

In January, Obama ordered federal agencies, including the EPA, to consider the cumulative cost and impact of regulations they propose. That order reaffirms a similar directive issued by President Clinton in 1993.

“Given this lack of compliance, we ask that your agency withdraw its proposed Utility MACT Rule, at least until such time as your agency conducts a cumulative impact analysis, as directed by the President,” the attorneys general wrote.

The bipartisan letter was signed by attorneys general from Arizona, Florida, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.