Texas lawmakers say revised EPA rule still could cause power blackouts

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent weakening of an upcoming rule reducing emissions from power plants provides some relief for Texas utilities but still doesn’t guarantee the prevention of electricity blackouts, the state’s members of Congress alleged today.

The EPA had reduced Texas’ required emissions reduction under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which will require power plants in 27 states to reduce soot- and smog-forming emissions that can travel to downwind states starting Jan. 1. Thirty-one of Texas’ 32 members of Congress said today that “though any relief is helpful,” flawed assumptions incorporated in the rule caused the agency to overestimate how much extra electricity the state grid operator can provide beyond what’s demanded.

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