A coalition of manufacturers, coal producers and other groups have asked a federal appeals court to put on hold the first nationwide regulations to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from factories, coal mines, power plants and other facilities, Dow Jones Newswire reports.
The group, led by the National Association of Manufacturers, made the request to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit late Wednesday, a deadline for making such requests. If the stay is granted by the court, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations set to take effect in January 2011 would be put on hold. A separate set of regulations for vehicle emissions would still take effect next year.
The EPA’s regulations will subject companies “to hundreds of millions of dollars in administrative costs and delays,” the group wrote. “The uncertainty surrounding EPA’s regulations will discourage capital investment and, by EPA’s own admission, threaten a regulatory construction freeze in some states. Jobs will be lost, and vulnerable, minority, and elderly populations will be harmed disproportionately.”
In its motion for the stay (PDF), NAM wrote:
“In less than four months, a patchwork of EPA actions related to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) will become effective. Together, those Clean Air Act (CAA) actions—the first GHG mandates in the United States—will irreparably harm Movants and damage all sectors of the economy. EPA itself has called the consequences of its actions “absurd,” affecting 6.1 million sources, introducing $78 billion in annual costs, causing “at least a decade or longer” of permit delays, “slow[ing] construction nationwide for years,” introducing burdens that are administratively “infeasible,” “overwhelming,” and will “adversely affect national economic development,” while impacting sources “not appropriate at this point to even consider regulating.”
According to NAM’s motion, the organizations do not contest EPA’s goal of limiting the emissions of GHGs from cars, but question EPA’s path for reaching that goal.
The EPA was not immediately available to comment, according to Dow Jones Newswire. EPA Administration Lisa Jackson this week countered the agency’s critics, saying that “doomsday predictions” by companies are often false and exaggerated.
NAM was joined by the American Petroleum Institute (API), National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), National Association of Home Builders, Corn Refiners Association, Brick Industry Association, Western States Petroleum Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Mississippi Manufacturers Association, Independent Petroleum Association of America, National Mining Association, Energy Intensive Manufacturers Working , Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation, American Iron and Steel Institute, Gerdau Ameristeel US, Inc., Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, Clean Air Implementation Project and the National Environmental Development Association’s Clean Air Regulatory Project in challenging the EPA regulations.
In a related complaint, Texas has also asked a federal court to block the EPA greenhouse gas rules, arguing they threaten jobs and are based on questionable science, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The motions filed yesterday are based on a lawsuit the state filed in February challenging the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases are harmful. Texas wants the court to block rules that would impose new emissions limits on cars and possibly factories and refineries.