EPA’s Regional Haze Regime Imposes Big Costs for Invisible Benefits

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2012 – William Yeatman, Assistant Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment, will testify at a June 28 hearing on the subject of “Mandate Madness: When Sue and Settle Just Isn’t Enough” before the Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Yeatman will testify on how the Environmental Protection Agency is usurping the rightful authority of the States to set visibility policy under the Regional Haze Rules of the Clean Air Act.

“The legal and regulatory history is clear: the Congress intended for the States to take the lead on Regional Haze policy,” explains Yeatman. “President Obama’s EPA, however, is using so-called ‘sue and settle’ consent decrees—among other regulatory machinations—to trump States’ rightful authority and impose billions of dollars in unjustified costs.”

According to Yeatman, the EPA has imposed Regional Haze implementation plans on Oklahoma, New Mexico, and North Dakota, over the staunch objections of state officials. These plans imposed by the EPA will cost almost $400 million per year more than the States’ plans.

In addition to the Regional Haze plans imposed on Oklahoma, New Mexico, and North Dakota, the EPA has proposed federal implementation plans for visibility improvement on Nebraska and Wyoming, at an estimated cost above the States’ plans of $24 million per year and $96 million per year, respectively. Moreover, the EPA is poised to propose a Regional Haze federal implementation plan for the Navajo Generating Station in the Navajo Nation, which, according to a Federal study, could raise water rates in southern Arizona by 15 percent.

While the costs of the EPA’s imposed Regional Haze plans are significant, Yeatman will warn the Subcommittee that the benefits are invisible—literally. “The visibility improvement achieved by the EPA’s Regional Haze plans is imperceptible,” Yeatman notes. “This regulation is all pain and no gain.”

>> Read Yeatman’s testimony: http://cei.org/regulatory-comments-and-testimony/testimony-mandate-madness-when-sue-and-settle-just-isnt-enough