State Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Oklahoma’s largest utility company, OG&E, have been fighting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze Rule since the federal agency rejected Oklahoma’s plan to reduce sulfur dioxide pollution at its coal-fired power plants in 2011.
In July 2013, a federal appeals court sided with the EPA on the issue. But Pruitt today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appeals court’s ruling
Pruitt argues the EPA overstepped its authority by scrapping Oklahoma’s pollution reduction plan.
“This issue is simple: the Clean Air Act gives states the primary authority to design and implement plans to address visibility issues in federal wildlife areas,” Pruitt says in a press release. “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.”
The Regional Haze Rule is meant to clear the air at national parks and wilderness areas run by the federal government by reducing pollution at coal plants that impact them.
Under the EPA’s plan for Oklahoma, that means making expensive upgrades to current coal plants or replacing them at a potential cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.