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Court denies new Oklahoma regional haze hearing

Published: October 31, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's request for a new hearing in the state's regional haze case against the Environmental Protection Agency.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in July that the EPA has authority to implement its own plan to limit sulfur dioxide emissions by coal-fired generating plants. Pruitt's request for a new hearing was denied Thursday.

The ruling involved a lawsuit by Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company that alleged the EPA rule is more stringent than the state's proposed plan and that implementing it would usurp state authority. Utility officials say the federal plan would dramatically increase utility rates for Oklahomans.

OG&E spokesman Paul Renfrow says the company may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.