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AG Files Suit Against EPA Over Haze Plan (May 31, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY - As promised, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is suing the federal government over its rejection of a state clean-air plan with the support of many state government officials.

From Governor Mary Fallin, to Corporation Commission Chairwoman Dana Murphy to the Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment Gary Sherrer comes a chorus of support for Pruitt’s federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.

The attorney general is asking a judge to stop the federal anti-pollution agency from moving forward with its plan to reduce the amount of haze over the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in southwest Oklahoma.

The EPA rejected a plan submitted by the state more than a year ago that was supposed to meet the requirements of the regional haze rule.

Electrical utility companies in Oklahoma say the federal plan would increase the cost of electricity to consumers by as much as 20 percent over three years.

Pruitt calls the regional haze rule an aesthetic regulation, but the Oklahoma Sierra Club says implementing the federal guidelines would also reduce the number of respiratory illnesses in the state and across the nation.

A news release from the environmental group says it’s time for Oklahoma’s major electrical utilities to phase out coal plants and make the move to cleaner forms of energy.

by Kurt Gwartney


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