EPA proposes to disapprove Wyoming haze plan; Governor Gordon, Senators respond

FILE - In this July 27, 2018 file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted...
FILE - In this July 27, 2018 file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo.(AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:28 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Release) - Governor Mark Gordon has issued the following statement criticizing today’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency proposing to disapprove Wyoming’s revised regional haze State Implementation Plan at the Jim Bridger Power Plant. On December 27, Governor Gordon signed a Temporary Emergency Suspension Order that allows Unit 2 of the plant to continue operating for at least four months.

“While not completely unexpected, EPA’s decision to disapprove the revised State Implementation Plan is a disappointing reflection of a federal agency acting in bad faith. EPA’s backtracking and subsequent refusal to adopt an agreement previously approved by the regional office and EPA headquarters could impact the loyal workforce of the Jim Bridger Power Plant and coal mine.

The suspension order I signed on December 27 gives all the parties four months to find a solution to prevent the shutdown of Unit 2. I am committed to protecting those jobs and workers.”

The proposed disapproval is expected to be published on the Federal Register on or around January 18, which will begin a 30-day comment period.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is also responding.

“The Biden administration’s war on American energy knows no bounds.” Barrasso said, “The proposal to disapprove the State of Wyoming’s revised regional haze plan is not driven by sound science or sensible policy. It is pure political theater that puts the future of Wyoming’s energy workers at risk.

“The administration’s dismissal of a carefully negotiated plan that the EPA once supported will kill good jobs in Wyoming. It will also further strain our electric grid and drive up energy costs for families at a time when they can least afford it.”

U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis spoke up as well.

“The EPA’s decision today is a complete reversal from that of career EPA employees during the previous administration,” Senator Lummis said. “The Biden EPA’s decision here is needlessly hurting Wyoming’s energy workers and threatening America’s energy independence as well. It is blatantly political, and I will continue to block President Biden’s EPA nominees over this issue. Wyoming has worked tirelessly to comply with federal law on its regional haze plan for the Jim Bridger Power Plant. The Biden administration’s decision to reverse course to appease environmental activists, including climate czars in the White House, will not help the people, or the environment, of Wyoming.”

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