Anna Aguillard Nov. 20, 2015, 2:14pm


BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell recently joined a lawsuit to put a stop to  “extremely expensive and unproven” EPA Clean Air Act proposals that his office says would effectively prohibit construction of coal-fired power plants.

Caldwell and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) join 23 other states and organizations in the lawsuit that alleges the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) show an arbitrary excess of the agency’s statutory authority that will threaten jobs across Louisiana and the entire country.

“Louisiana’s joining in the argument helps to strengthen the argument that these proposals are bad for Louisiana and many other states,” Harold Leggett, former head of the state DEQ and currently senior manager and director of regulations at Resource and Environmental Solutions, recently told the Louisiana Record.

Caldwell’s insists that the emission standards rely upon experimental technology that leaves the actual benefits of the costly regulations questionable.

“The EPA does not appear to be supported with scientific evidence requiring the proposal,” Leggett said. “It appears to be a continuation of the EPA attack on solid fuels.”

Leggett said the industries that the new regulations will affect include Louisiana’s coal, lignite, PET and other solid fuel byproduct producers.

“While Louisiana power producers have a diverse fuel mix, coal and lignite electricity production are important and cost effective,” Leggett said. “Changes to the use of solid fuels, whether requiring additional controls as suggested by the EPA, which have not been demonstrated as successful, would increase costs to businesses and consumers.

This suit is one of several filed against the EPA’s increased regulations, such as the Clean Water Act, which effectively puts private waterways under federal regulation.

“In my opinion, the EPA continues to overreach in its authority and does not utilize the public participation model for evaluating rule making,” Leggett said.

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