Lee, Chaffetz seek to repeal haze regulations, environmental groups respond

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, delivers a speech on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senate, Washington, fall 2015 | Photo from video courtesy of the offices of Sen. Mike Lee, St. George News

UTAH – Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced earlier this week they are seeking to repeal federal air regulations targeting two coal-fired power plants in Utah. The regional haze regulations are designed to promote clear and clean air in Utah’s national parks.

The resolution of disapproval was introduced by the entire Utah Delegation, according to a joint press release for Lee and Chaffetz issued Tuesday.

“The great state of Utah already has proposed a perfectly safe and effective nitrogen oxide regulation regime,” Lee said in a statement. “The (Environmental Protection Agency’s) costly new regulations would add hundreds of millions to the power bills of working families and all for an imperceptible change in visibility.”

Rocky Mountain Power, which owns the Huntington and Hunter coal-fired plants targeted by the EPA regulations, would be required to install $700 million in new equipment and add $150 million to the plants operating costs, according the joint press release.

“By EPA’s own estimates, implementation of the regulations will result in 5-10 percent rate increases,” Chaffetz and Lee’s offices stated in the release.

Environmental advocacy groups HEAL Utah and the Sierra Club also issued a joint press release in response to Lee and Chaffetz.

In the release the groups state that over 45,000 people, including 100 impacted business owners from across the region concerned about national parks from Zion to the Grand Canyon, have written to the EPA in support of its plan for protecting clean air and outdoor recreation economies in Utah.

“Just as Jason Chaffetz is woefully distant from low-income Utahns who struggle to afford healthcare, he is also out of touch with our families’ desire for clean air and pristine national parks,” Matt Pacenza, HEAL Utah’s executive director, said in the press release.

After years of careful analysis, the EPA rightfully concluded that limiting pollution from coal-burning is a necessary step toward protecting our families’ health and our scenic vistas,” Pacenza said. “It’s appalling to see how quickly Utah’s Congressional delegation will undo years of scientific study to protect a monopoly utility’s profits.”

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • lcambridge March 15, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Lee and chaffetz have got to go.. we need new people in who actually care about the health of the people..

    • comments March 15, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      What you’re forgetting is that these two boys are LDS republicans, so therefore they can do no wrong.

    • comments March 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Plus Utah mormon republicans seem to love to suck in all kinds of air pollution, smog, coal exhaust, whatever. I think they thrive off it.

    • mesaman March 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      I’m certain they will when the citizens of Utah stop voting them in.

  • Brian March 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    What you’re forgetting is that much of the pollution comes from Asia and is out of our control: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865674851/Smog-in-the-American-West-Study-shows-Asia-largely-to-blame.html

    It doesn’t make sense to spend ridiculous amounts of money to scratch the surface, while ignoring the major contributing factors. Liberals loves to say “we have to do something” “for the children”, but lets be smart about it. It’s like the trillions and trillions of dollars we’re supposed to spend (largely on indulgences with Al Gore that are supposed to make us feel better without actually changing the environment AT ALL; ie “carbon offsets”) that by their own studies will make a 0.03% difference in 100 YEARS. Riiiiighhht. Great plan.

    So I agree with Lee and Chaffetz on this, because it makes sense.

    • comments March 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      I don’t know the details on this one, but when it comes to air quality I know the republican neo-cons simply don’t care.

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