Some are trying to blame these blackouts – which the industry has already provided explanation for – on Clean Air Act standards under consideration to curb dangerous pollution, including carbon pollution. While these claims gained traction on the internet, there is a major problem with this theory – no power plant in Texas has yet been required to do anything to control carbon pollution.
In December the EPA announced its intent to update important Clean Air Act standards that for decades have decreased harmful pollution and protected public health. In the coming months the EPA will work closely with key stakeholders, including industry, to develop a commonsense standard for currently unchecked, dangerous carbon pollution. Any standard, which will leverage existing technologies and only apply to the largest polluters, will not be proposed until later this year, allowing an extensive public comment period, and following that additional input no final rule is scheduled to be in place until late 2012.
Despite these modest steps, many continue to mischaracterize this process – making unsubstantiated claims about the impact this will have on everything from industry to energy prices. This most recent effort simply underscores a willingness to ignore the facts to further an agenda that seeks to stop the EPA from sensible updates to the Clean Air Act.