Among Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s many conservative crusades are opposition to any government regulation that might produce cleaner air and water and a better environment.
A chief target of Rutledge has been the Obama administration initiative to reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants, the so-called Clean Power plan. She’s fighting in court against the plan along with Republican leaders from other states because she says it unduly burdens power companies.
The 27 states challenging Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court say the lower emissions levels it would impose are an undue burden. But most are likely to hit them anyway.
Already, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota appear to be meeting the CPP’s early targets. And changes in the power market, along with policies favoring clean generation, are propelling most of the rest toward timely compliance, according to researchers, power producers and officials, as well as government filings reviewed by Reuters.
“We are seeing reductions earlier than we ever expected,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said in an interview. “It’s a great sign that the market has already shifted and people are invested in the newer technologies, even while we are in litigation.”
To hear Republican officials who are fighting clean air rules tell it, it’s all about the principle of the thing. State rights and all. Not that any of them would roll back on regulations or actions that have led to cleaner air if the matter could be left up to the states. Or that some utility’s out of state sales might be affected.
States that export coal or gas-fired power, on the other hand, are concerned about their ability to keep doing so.
“It is very important that we don’t get caught in the fray of an EPA energy policy that dictates what we do as an exporting state,” said Stuart Spencer, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Associate Director.
Hey, oower companies such as SWEPCO (which built a coal plant here that Texas wouldn’t accept) have to be able to sell power. If that means some exhaust fumes for Arkies, well, it smells like money , right?