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WMC, Business Groups Sue EPA Over Cross State Air Pollution Rule

MADISON WMC and a coalition of business groups is asking a federal court to suspend new rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will drive up energy costs and cause job loss.

The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) would require costly emission reductions from power plants in 27 states, including Wisconsin. The rule, which takes effect in January of 2012, treats Wisconsin utilities unfairly by requiring disproportionately deeper reductions than those required in many other states.

“This rule will hit Wisconsin homeowners and businesses with an enormous electric rate hike at a time when they can least afford it,” said Scott Manley, Director of Environmental & Energy Policy for WMC. “The rule is unfair, unaffordable and unworkable. It’s another unfortunate example of EPA overregulation that creates business uncertainty, and hampers our economic recovery.”

On Friday, WMC and four other business groups filed suit against the EPA in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit asks the court to suspend the EPA’s new rules regulating cross state air pollution. The suit additionally asks the court to order the EPA to rewrite the rules.

The CSAPR Rule, along with other utility regulations expected in November, are projected to increase electric rates in Wisconsin by nearly 22 percent by the year 2016 according to a recent study issued by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. The same study predicted the rules will result in 24,500 lost jobs in Wisconsin.

Other business groups filing the lawsuit are the Wisconsin Paper Council, Midwest Food Processors, Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group and Wisconsin Cast Metals Association.

The rule gives utilities less than six months to comply, but WMC and the other business groups say that is not enough time for planning, permits, and needed construction.

“Our economy is struggling,” Manley said. “The one bright spot has been growth in the manufacturing sector. But the high cost of this rule will be a major setback for job creation and consumers.”

Scott Manley, (608) 209-0568





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