Arizona suing EPA over excessive coal regulations

Obama’s EPA is following through with Obama’s promise to bankrupt coal power plants, and Arizona is fighting back:

REUTERS – Arizona challenged in federal court U.S. environmental regulators efforts to force Arizona power companies to spend up to $1 billion to install pollution control equipment at three coal plants to reduce haze in the region’s national parks.

Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement last week the emission control measures proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would not affect health or be reduce emissions visible to the human eye.

“This is an absurd action that would significantly raise utility rates for most Arizonans without providing any benefit to anyone,” Horne said in a statement.

Officials at the EPA were not immediately available for comment.

On behalf of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, which filed a plan to reduce emissions in 2011 that was replaced by the EPA’s proposal, Horne filed with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the EPA’s plan to impose new haze restrictions.

The EPA in December proposed strict controls on nitrogen oxide emissions that could require the installation of selective catalytic reduction technology at the Apache, Cholla and Coronado coal plants to reduce haze in the Grand Canyon and other nearby national parks.

Nitrogen oxides react with other chemicals in the atmosphere to form ozone, which causes a white or brown haze in the air that has been associated with asthma and other breathing disorders, the EPA said.

This attempt by the EPA has nothing to do with ensuring clean air and everything to do with trying to eliminate coal as a source of electricity,” Horne said.

Since President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, power companies have announced plans to shut more than 40,000 MW of coal-fired capacity due to stricter environmental regulations and weak natural gas prices from record shale production that has depressed power prices.

Those low power prices have made it uneconomic for many generators to invest in emissions control equipment needed to keep their older coal plants compliant with the administration’s stricter environmental regulations.


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