Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Obama Jobs Plan: 500 Lost Jobs in Texas

EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs
Texas energy company Luminant announced on Monday new burdensome Environmental Protection Agency regulations are forcing it to close several facilities, which will result in about 500 job losses.

The company will be idling — stopping the usage of — two energy generating units. It will also cease extracting lignite from three different Texas mines.

The EPA regulation Luminant cites as too burdensome is the new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make “dramatic reductions” in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012.

“We have hundreds of employees who have spent their entire professional careers at Luminant and its predecessor companies,” Luminant CEO David Campbell said in a statement. “At every step of this process, we have tried to minimize these impacts, and it truly saddens me that we are being compelled to take the actions we’ve announced today. We have filed suit to try to avoid these consequences.”

The company said it has been trying to meet the new standards, but won’t be able to do so without closing down several facilities and eliminating 500 jobs.
You could argue that this is only the result of an even handed approach to the enforcement of a law that Congress passed, and that no politics were involved.

To do that you would have to overlook the fact that until recently, Texas was exempt from the Cross State Air Pollution Rule because relatively little of Texas' pollution ended up in other states.

Further evidence of a political bias in the enforcement is suggested by the fact that while Texas was being selected for enforcement,  Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, along with the District of Columbia (three "blue states and two swing states") were moved from the enforced to the exempt column.  It has not escaped our notice that Obama doesn't stand a snow ball's chance in hell of winning Texas in 2012.

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