On April 13th 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency took an action in court on that aging power plants were causing a lot of emission of smog and soot in Texas. The agency wanted the aging power plants to reduce their production, so as to cut down on pollution in Texas. The action would be taken to the United States Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia.
However, industrial groups are challenging the legality of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The rule is also challenged by fourteen other states led by Texas. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule imposes caps on nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide from power plants, which are driven by coal in the Eastern States. Texas, being one of affected states, claims that the rule will bring down the production of the state, hence bringing down its economy.
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The Environmental State Agency considers that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is necessary for protection of lung-damaging pollution. The lung-damaging pollution is responsible for thousands of pre mature deaths and respiratory illnesses each year around the power plants and in the other downwind states. A three-judge panel was ruling, while the federal appeal courts considered the legality of the Cross-State Pollution Rule. There were arguments raised by both supporters and those opposing the rule. Those opposing the rule argued that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority and provided industries with too little time to comply with the Cross-State Pollution Rule. They said that, since the rule was put into place just the previous year, they should be given more time to comply with it. On the other hand, the Environmental Protection Agency claims that its main purpose for coming up with the rule was to protect citizens from the pollution and not to bring down the economy of the states. A committee was set up to look into the matter. The bodies opposing the Cross-State Pollution Rule argued that the Environmental Protection Agency had exceeded its authority with the trading systems to reduce the emission. This, they claim, is because the federal Clean Air Act gives the state primary responsibility to tackle air quality problems. In their defense, the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson said that the agency reduces smoke pollution caused by soot and smog, while the Clean Air Act cuts dangerous pollution to communities, hence protecting about 240 million Americans (Cozzi and Ohji 127).
The agency also reduces the emission of air toxics, as well as quality standards for nitrogen and sulphur dioxide. The agency also finished additional Clean Air Act protections which will decrease the emission of smoke which travels long distance through the air, and leads to smog and soot, threatening the large number of American people living downwind.
She said that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would protest communities containing 240 million Americans from soot and smoke pollution (Cozzi and Ohji 128). Moreover, this rule would also prevent 34 000 premature deaths; 19000 cases of bronchitis; 15 000 nonfatal heart attacks; 400000 cases of asthma and 1.8 million sick leaves a year (Cozzi and Ohji 129). Jackson mentioned that to ensure the flexibility, the Environmental Protection Agency would work with particular states in order to develop the appropriate path which would deliver some significant reductions of harmful emissions, and minimize costs for consumers and utilities. She said that no community would bear the burden of polluters from another community, or be incapable of preventing air pollution that caused heart attacks, asthma, and other illnesses. She mentioned that the Clean Air Act safeguards would provide healthcare to millions of Americans and save their lives by preventing soot and smog pollution from travelling a long distances and contaminating the air that the people breathe. She said that by the Environmental Protection Agency’s ensuring these measures are put into place, this will ensure the American families are not suffering from the consequences of pollution, generated far from their homes, while allowing states to decide on the most effective ways of reducing the air pollution, while using the smallest possible amount of money.
The Clean Air Act also has to put measures in place to curb the air pollution caused by aircrafts. Aircrafts use fuel for their operation. When this fuel is burned, there is an emission of toxic gases, such as Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and many others (Swaddle 66). The aircrafts also cause noise pollution by the sounds they make. In that connection, there are laws, which were put in place that aircrafts should not fly too low on the ground surface, as they cause annoyance to people by way of noise. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will help the American nation avoid a large number of premature deaths and illnesses. This will help in achieving billions of dollars in public health benefits to the citizens. By 2014, the emissions reductions required will avoid the following annually: 15 000 nonfatal heart attacks; from13 000 to 34 000 premature deaths, , 19 000 emergency room and hospital visits, 1.8 million lost working days or school absences, 400 000 aggravated some asthma attacks (Mooney and Knox 57). Through this program, pollution reductions will also lead to improvement in visibility in national parks and also state parks. Moreover, this will also see increased protection for sensitive ecosystems, including the Appalachian streams and Adirondack See lakes. Together with these, there are the coastal waters and estuaries and forests.
Further to that, The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will improve the air quality in many counties throughout the Eastern, Central and Southern parts of the United States of America, counties that are home for the three quarters of the United States’ population. The State actions, local actions and the federal actions have already made substantive efforts in the improvement of air quality. They have ensured that many counties meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for solid particle and ozone pollution. This has also made many areas to be brought into attaining these standards.
To add on, Texas is again forced to take the legal action in court against the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Mooney and Knox 57). This is because the state aims to stop the enforcement of the new Rule on Cross-State Air Pollution (CSAPR).
Texas claims that implementers of the Environmental Protection Agency continue demonstrating the lack of basic rules’ understanding and a misguided, dangerous belief that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule must be accepted without the scrutiny of science, law, and common sense.
Texas claims that while the Environmental Protection Agency adopts a regulation not based on facts, it does not follow any own rules and is going to have adverse significant impact on the state.
The state of Texas has the obligation to its citizens to follow legal remedies. People opposing the Cross-State Air Pollution rules consider that when the rule which is injurious to the Texas is put into place, then Texas has a right duty to protect its people from the immediate, real harm this rule will inflict.
They accused the Environmental Protection Agency of using flawed legal arguments and shoddy science for the state to take up the Cross-State Air Pollution Rue (Mooney and Knox 89). However, they found it necessary to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's actions again.
In order to justify their conviction, they say that the last inclusion of the state is based on information that says that an Illinois monitor, placed across the street, demonstrates a theoretical reading which is slightly above the attainment.
They also considered that actual data from the zoo forward show that such monitor meetings the standards of federal air quality, as per the current time. They also claimed that even if the federation trusted their own modeling predictions stimulated by computers, monitor would be in the attainment of figures without any changes from the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
That is why they want to know whether Texas' tenuous link to such monitor would justify the state's inclusion in the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and there is the negative answer. The bodies, which oppose to the Environmental Protection Agency, stridently insist on that the law would not have effect until March, and this provides companies with a lot of time to comply it is not a correct presumption (Young, Byrne and Cotterell 194).
Criminal penalties for non-compliance and fines would be based on how plants would operate starting – January 2 or March 2, which is merely the deadline for the paperwork which demonstrates compliance (Young, Byrne and Cotterell 196). Since installing the specific equipment to achieve compliance may take years, companies would have to depend on credits, being ready for purchase at the reasonable and predictable cost. This, they say, is an enormous gamble to accept the real world.
The Environmental Protection Agency continues throwing out theoretical numbers, and is showing remarkable health effects from such initiatives, but federal legislators are increasingly growing short-tempered because the Environmental Protection Agency's denial to provide the studies and data to back these projections.
While the Environmental Protection Agency and its followers cast some doubts that such rules would certainly impact the state's supply of electricity and cost jobs. A number of bodies have checked repeatedly that the power grid would be negatively impacted by the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
The Luminant, the United States of America Company, had to make a business decision in order to comply with the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This was leading to the company’s announcing that it would need to dismiss 500 employees and close down two of its units (Cozzi and Ohji 247).
With such an occurrence, other companies face similar business decisions. Their impacts would be felt in the state of Texas. Moreover the state of Texas cannot avoid the negative effects of this rule. It would be particularly irresponsible to accept that there are citizens of Texas who would lose air conditioning during the hottest season and time, because the computer model of Environmental Protection Agency shows an Illinois air monitor, which may exceed the standard. At the time when individuals can make different conclusions, defenders of the Environmental Protection Agency have to consider the results of blindly endorsing the law seriously, only because it comes from Washington, D.C.
From the above discussion, it is evident that efforts on protecting the environment are mostly maimed by financial loses that are attached to it. This is evident on how much the rules, which protect the environment, have a negative effect in the economy of such state as Texas. One can see that, if these measures are put into place, there will be significant environmental protection, and many respiratory diseases and illness will be curbed. Despite this, one also sees how much it will affect the economy of the state, raising many controversies between the bodies which are for these environmental protection rules stated by the Environmental Protection Agencies and those that are against these rules.
In conclusion, the state should come together with the agencies which protect the environment, and come up with measures which do not weigh down on either of the side. These rules should be well thought by both sides, to ensure that it only has benefits to the citizens and do not disadvantage them in any way.
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