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Rep: EPA needs to explain proposed change in regional haze rule

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Power has requested an explanation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about a proposed rule change to EPA’s regional haze rule.

The change would require the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology at the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona without any conclusive evidcence that the system will help the plant to comply with EPA’s desired result, said Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, the chairman of the subcommittee.

“The best way to deal with the electricity challenges of today and tomorrow is to expand the options available, not to reduce them,” stated Whitfield.  “That is why I believe that EPA’s regulatory assault on coal here in Kentucky and across the country is bad policy.  Coal is the leading source of electricity generation in the U.S., and it certainly remains the fastest-growing source of energy for China and many of our other global competitors.  We gain nothing when we foreclose the option of new coal-fired generation by regulating it out of existence through burdensome new EPA regulations.”

EPA had been considering whether to require up to $1.1 billion of additional emission controls at the plant to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and improve visibility at nearby national parks. Whitfield also cited the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s comments saying that research is inconclusive on whether or not the proposed rule change would lead to any noticeable improvements to the area.

Whitfield has requested an explanation from the EPA no later than June 21, 2013.

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