Politics

EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Texas energy company Luminant announced on Monday new burdensome Environmental Protection Agency regulations are forcing it to close several facilities, which will result in about 500 job losses.

The company will be idling — stopping the usage of — two energy generating units. It will also cease extracting lignite from three different Texas mines.

The EPA regulation Luminant cites as too burdensome is the new Cross-State Air Pollution rule, which requires Texas power generators to make “dramatic reductions” in emissions beginning on January 1, 2012.

“We have hundreds of employees who have spent their entire professional careers at Luminant and its predecessor companies,” Luminant CEO David Campbell said in a statement. “At every step of this process, we have tried to minimize these impacts, and it truly saddens me that we are being compelled to take the actions we’ve announced today. We have filed suit to try to avoid these consequences.”

The company said it has been trying to meet the new standards, but won’t be able to do so without closing down several facilities and eliminating 500 jobs.

“As always, Luminant is committed to complying fully with EPA regulations,” Campbell said. “We have spent the last two months identifying all possible options to meet the requirements of this new rule, and we are launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities.”

“However, meeting this unrealistic deadline also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs,” Campbell adds.

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