Attorney General Pruitt Testifies Before Congress on EPA, Energy Issues
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Thursday testified before Congress on issues relating to the EPA, energy and the environment.
“There is a great deal of frustration among the states with the EPA’s attitude that ignores the proper role of the states as the agency attempts to expand its authority. The EPA seems to have a view that the states are merely a vessel to implement whatever policies and regulations the Administration sees fit, regardless of the wisdom, cost or efficiency of such measures. Fortunately for the states, that is not what the law allows,” General Pruitt testified. “Congress clearly intended for the states to have primacy in the areas of environmental regulation and for the EPA to work with the states closely to regulate those issues. However, the EPA is attempting to usurp the role of the states all in the name of imposing the Administration’s anti-fossil fuel mentality.”
General Pruitt's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power was part of a hearing on proposed EPA greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants. General Pruitt discussed a paper he and 16 other attorneys general submitted to the EPA on greenhouse gas regulations as well as Oklahoma’s regional haze lawsuit against the EPA.
“In recent years, the EPA has expressed an unwillingness to appropriately defer to state authority under the Clean Air Act. The prospect of aggressive performance standards for new coal-based power plants is cause for serious concern among the very states. The EPA has indicated a similarly aggressive approach to existing coal-based power plants,” General Pruitt testified. “Unfortunately, this is not the only issue at which the states and the EPA are at odds over the scope of their respective responsibilities. Many states, including Oklahoma, are actively engaged in legal challenges to thwart the EPA’s attempt to expand its authority under the Regional Haze program. In Oklahoma, stakeholders joined together, worked with utilities to construct a plan for regional haze – which we submitted in 2010 – that allowed for fuel diversity and balanced environmental protection and the need for affordable energy. The EPA rejected Oklahoma’s state implementation plan in favor of a federal implementation plan, which would cost state utilities $2 billion within three years."
Video of the hearing will be available for viewing online at http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/epas-proposed-ghg-standards-new-power-plants-and-whitfield-manchin-legislation.