The Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the right to reinstate limits on power-plant pollution that blows across state lines. The regulation is known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule or CSAPR.
Originally overturned in August 2012, the EPA and federal government won the reversal on Tuesday with a 6-2 vote.
This stands to affect approximately 1,000 power plants in 28 states in the eastern half of the United States – plants will either have to adopt new pollution controls and/or reduce their operations. Coupled with the Mercury Air and Toxics Standards (MATS) rule this could further threaten already vulnerable coal plants.
A Wall Street Journal article noted this ruling may hurt Texas the most. Luminant, owned by Energy Future Holdings, Co. and based in Texas, has previously stated they would have to shut down two coal plants if the pollution rules went into effect, and would be faced with possibly spending $1.5 billion to install pollution control equipment at their other plants (www.wsj.com).
Luminant, who is already reeling from this week’s bankruptcy filing, said they “will assess and determine its ultimate business and operational decisions” as more information on the precise requirements are known (www.wsj.com).
Though Texas power plants may be affected the most, other operating regions are seeing electricity prices increase for 2016 and beyond. MidAmerican Energy noted that prices were up anywhere from $0.0005 to $0.0008/kWh in non-ERCOT regions of the U.S.