Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a petition Wednesday with the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that went against the state and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. on a plan for controlling haze-causing emissions from electric generating plants.
The lawsuit challenges the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to partially reject a state plan for regional haze that would enhance visibility on federal lands in Oklahoma by 2064.
In a statement, Pruitt said the Clean Air Act gives states the primary authority to design and implement plans for visibility.
“The EPA exceeded its authority when it dismissed Oklahoma's plan in favor of a federal plan that will lead to utility rate increases of as much as 20 percent,” Pruitt said. “Our state developed a commonsense plan to address regional haze, but because it continued the use of fossil fuels, the EPA rejected it to further its anti-fossil fuel agenda.
“We are hopeful the Supreme Court will agree to review our lawsuit so that we can continue the fight to protect the ability of states like Oklahoma to craft state-based solutions as provided by the law.”
A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 2-1 against Oklahoma, OG&E and Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers in July. The full appellate court declined a rehearing in October.
Oklahoma's implementation plan for regional haze would have let affected utilities continue to burn low-sulfur coal and install basic pollution controls at generating plants. In partially rejecting the plan in 2011, EPA presented its own plan for utilities to install expensive emissions-control technology called scrubbers.
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