Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt criticizes EPA at congressional hearing

Pruitt, who is suing the Environmental Protection Agency, tells a House panel that state authority is being usurped by an anti-fossil fuel agenda.
by Chris Casteel Published: November 15, 2013
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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is already suing the Environmental Protection Agency in a dispute over regional haze, warned Thursday in Washington that the EPA could face more lawsuits from states over proposed regulations to reduce carbon emissions at power plants.

Testifying before a House subcommittee, Pruitt said the agency continued to stretch its authority beyond the boundaries of the Clean Air Act and was dictating an “anti-fossil fuel agenda” to states.

“The EPA seems to have the view that the states are merely a vessel to implement whatever policies and regulations the administration sees fit, regardless of the wisdom, cost or efficiency of such measures,” Pruitt told the subcommittee.

The attorney general's testimony came at a hearing about the EPA's proposed regulations for new power plants and its plan to formulate rules for existing power plants. The Obama administration wants to reduce carbon emissions as part of its plan to slow global warming.

Republicans on the subcommittee said the agency had developed regulations that would preclude any new coal-fired plants because meeting the standards would require technology to capture and store carbon that isn't commercially viable.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said utilities have a long history complaining about antipollution standards. However, he said, dire warnings about massive job losses, higher rates and power shortages have never come to pass.

EPA official Janet McCabe said carbon capture and storage technology is commercially available and would be widely used.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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