Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the state’s largest utility, haven’t had much luck going up against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lately.

Brian Kusler / Flickr Creative Commons

A legislative measure that would allow electricity utilities to charge higher rates to customers who generate electricity with small solar installations or wind turbines has passed an Oklahoma House committee and now awaits Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal appeals court in July ruled the EPA can implement its own plan to limit sulfur dioxide emissions at coal-fired power plants over the state’s plan. Oklahoma Gas & Electric — the state’s largest utility — and state Attorney General Scott Pruitt then asked for another hearing. On Thursday, that request was denied.

In an interview with StateImpact, OG&E spokeswoman Kathleen O’Shea says the next step — if the parties opposed to the EPA regulations continue to take the legal route — would be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

The clash between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oklahoma Gas & Electric over pollution from coal-fired power plants continues to escalate.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and OG&E both asked the 10thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its July decision in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was whether EPA has the authority to usurp the state’s plan for limiting haze on federal land; a plan EPA has deemed inadequate.

Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is no fan of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and filing lawsuits against the federal agency has become a signature of the state’s chief legal adviser.

Provided / The Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., the state’s largest electric utility, alleging the company violated the federal Clean Air Act by modifying a coal burner at its Muskogee power plant without “planning for increased levels of air pollution and failing to obtain a permit from state regulators.”

StateImpact Oklahoma

The federal government on Monday filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma Gas & Electric, accusing the electric utility of violating the Clean Air Act by improperly estimating the amount of emissions that could come from upgrades at two coal-fired power plants.

A copy of the government’s complaint, which was made through the Environmental Protection Agency, is included on StateImpact Oklahoma's website.

Sierra Club of Oklahoma

The Sierra Club on Thursday said two Oklahoma Gas & Electric coal-fired power plants are releasing too much sulfur dioxide, a compound that can cause respiratory disease, which they said endangers residents near Muskogee and Red Rock.

The environmental group commissioned a study that modeled the amount of sulfur dioxide released by the Sooner and Muskogee plants, and says both will violate federal clean air standards — when those standards are implemented.

Oklahoma has more natural gas reserves than all but three other states. And it now accounts for about 40 percent of the state's power generation.