EPA Rule Forces Texas Company to Announce Layoffs; Over 500 Workers Could Lose Their Jobs
Today, leading power-generating company Luminant announced major layoffs as a result of the EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The new rule places unfair and excessive burdens on Texas and other states, which will be forced to shoulder a disproportionate percentage of the country's emissions reductions. Luminant stated it will be forced to idle plants and reduce employees in order to comply with the new rule's stringent requirements and unreasonable compliance deadlines. Luminant has also voiced concerns that the rule will threaten electric reliability across the state of Texas. The TRAIN Act, as passed by the full Energy and Commerce Committee, includes language to delay implementation of EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to ensure proper consideration of the rule's economic and job impacts.
Luminant Announces Facility Closures, Job Reductions in Response to EPA Rule
Company Forced to Take Difficult Steps; Files Suit to Protect Jobs, Reliability
DALLAS - September 12, 2011 - In employee meetings today across its Texas operations, Luminant leadership announced the need to close facilities to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which will cause the loss of approximately 500 jobs.
The rule, which the EPA released earlier this summer, requires Texas power generators to make dramatic reductions in emissions beginning January 1, 2012. While Luminant is making preparations to meet the rule's compliance deadline, this morning it also filed a legal challenge in an effort to protect facilities and employees, and to minimize the harm this rule will cause to electric reliability in Texas.
To meet the rule's unrealistic deadline and requirements, Luminant reluctantly must take the difficult steps of idling two generating units and ceasing mining Texas lignite at three mines. Luminant will also implement several other actions to reduce emissions, including making substantial investments in its facilities.
Luminant supports continued efforts to improve air quality across the state and nation. Since 2005, for example, Luminant has achieved a 21 percent reduction in SO2 emissions, while at the same time increasing generation by 13 percent.
"As always, Luminant is committed to complying fully with EPA regulations. 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," said David Campbell, Luminant's chief executive officer. "However, meeting this unrealistic deadline also forces us to take steps that will idle facilities and result in the loss of jobs," said Campbell.
"We have hundreds of employees who have spent their entire professional careers at Luminant and its predecessor companies," added Campbell. "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."
To read the company's full press release, click here.