June 9, 2023

Young, Colleagues Challenge EPA’s “Good Neighbor Rule”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced a formal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Good Neighbor Rule” through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.

The senators are seeking to overturn the rule, which will place severe restrictions on state emissions based on a questionable methodology that assigns fault to “upwind” states for other “downwind” state emissions. The EPA’s rule comes after years of good-faith efforts from states to address the emissions concerns through individual State Implementation Plans (SIP).

“The EPA’s ‘Good Neighbor’ rule is misguided and will harm Indiana’s economic stability and energy autonomy. This rule overlooks the positive strides our state has made in energy innovation and emissions control, and it would force sweeping changes without an accurate reflection of our operational realities. Such overreach threatens to upend our energy sector, harm American industries, and burden Hoosiers with unwarranted costs,” said Senator Young.

“The EPA claims that the state of Mississippi is causing emissions problems for Dallas and Houston. This is an entirely unconvincing assertion, which will have severe consequences for development in our area,” said Senator Wicker. “With its so-called ‘Good Neighbor’ rule, the EPA has decided to discard years of good-faith efforts by states to address emissions concerns. Overturning these plans by executive fiat is wrong and exceeds the role of the EPA. I am glad to be joined by so many like-minded colleagues in challenging this rule.”

Senators Young and Wicker were joined by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.).

The rule, which falls under provisions of the Clean Air Act, would impact 23 states, including Indiana. It would require new, more stringent regulations related to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from stationary sources. To achieve lower emission rates, the rule would establish an ozone trading season for fossil fuel plants in 22 states and establish emission limits on certain industrial sources.

Prior to the issuance of the rule, states worked with EPA to submit an approvable SIP for the 2015 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).  Earlier this year, the EPA disapproved SIPs for Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Many of these states are either suing or considering litigation against EPA as they believe this is a violation of the Clean Air Act’s “cooperative federalism” structure.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.