Effort to kill the CSAPR in the US Senate fails

The U.S. Senate killed Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) effort last week to strike down the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule regulating emissions that blow across state lines, thanks in part to your calls and emails.

The measure died on a 41-56 vote with Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison voting for the failed measure. The air pollution rule requires certain states, including Texas, to cut harmful emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

President Obama had promised to veto the bill if it arrived at his desk. Still, that didn’t stop attacks from foes of the controversial rule, which has prompted lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the State of Texas and the state’s largest power generator (Dallas-based Luminant, which relies heavily on coal-fired generation).  Both declaring that the rule would harm the reliability of Texas’ electric grid and kill jobs.

Senators from small eastern states, however, said they had done all they could to clean up their own air already but were now contending with 95 percent of pollution that arrives from other states.

Backers of the rule say cleaning up the air is job friendly because it creates green jobs and reduces employee sick days and absenteeism in public schools. Opponents of the rule said installing expensive emissions-cutting retrofits would hurt jobs at a time when creating jobs should be the top priority. They also said it would hurt senior citizens and the poor who would see their power bills increase.

Again, to those of you who made calls and sent in emails, thank you.