The Republican wave that put the party back in full control of Congress also put Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe back in charge of the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policies.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma — which provides electricity to more than a half-million Oklahomans — can move ahead with plans to retire its coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
The agreement between the utility, state, and EPA is expected to bring PSO into compliance with regional haze regulations, the federal government’s effort to clear the air at national parks and wildlife refuges.
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.
Federal regulators are forcing Oklahoma’s largest utility companies to lower emissions at their coal fired power plants or shut them down. The goal of the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule is to clear the air on federal lands like national parks and refuges.
In the more rural parts of Oklahoma City there are thousands of residents who don’t pay for trash pickup, and they never have.
Even in 1994, when public health concerns drove the city council to add more than 10,000 rural homes to trash collection routes, many residents started a boycott that’s still going almost 20 years later, as The Oklahoman‘s William Crum reports:
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.
The summer was tough on the Grand River Dam Authority’s relationship with Gov. Mary Fallin.
It started when the GRDA announced plans earlier this year to spend almost $400 million to build a new natural gas power plant, and upgrade its newest coal-fired plant in compliance with new federal regulations.
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.