UTAH – Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced earlier this week they are seeking to repeal federal air regulations targeting two coal-fired power plants in Utah. The regional haze regulations are designed to promote clear and clean air in Utah’s national parks.
The resolution of disapproval was introduced by the entire Utah Delegation, according to a joint press release for Lee and Chaffetz issued Tuesday.
“The great state of Utah already has proposed a perfectly safe and effective nitrogen oxide regulation regime,” Lee said in a statement. “The (Environmental Protection Agency’s) costly new regulations would add hundreds of millions to the power bills of working families and all for an imperceptible change in visibility.”
Rocky Mountain Power, which owns the Huntington and Hunter coal-fired plants targeted by the EPA regulations, would be required to install $700 million in new equipment and add $150 million to the plants operating costs, according the joint press release.
“By EPA’s own estimates, implementation of the regulations will result in 5-10 percent rate increases,” Chaffetz and Lee’s offices stated in the release.
Environmental advocacy groups HEAL Utah and the Sierra Club also issued a joint press release in response to Lee and Chaffetz.
In the release the groups state that over 45,000 people, including 100 impacted business owners from across the region concerned about national parks from Zion to the Grand Canyon, have written to the EPA in support of its plan for protecting clean air and outdoor recreation economies in Utah.
“Just as Jason Chaffetz is woefully distant from low-income Utahns who struggle to afford healthcare, he is also out of touch with our families’ desire for clean air and pristine national parks,” Matt Pacenza, HEAL Utah’s executive director, said in the press release.
“After years of careful analysis, the EPA rightfully concluded that limiting pollution from coal-burning is a necessary step toward protecting our families’ health and our scenic vistas,” Pacenza said. “It’s appalling to see how quickly Utah’s Congressional delegation will undo years of scientific study to protect a monopoly utility’s profits.”
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