September 3, 2013

For Immediate Release

Attorney General Scott Pruitt Files Appeal for Rehearing on Regional Haze Decision

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Tuesday filed an appeal requesting a rehearing with the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the state’s Regional Haze case against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our appeal for a rehearing before the full 10th Circuit gives us an opportunity to continue the fight to preserve the state’s ability to create an Oklahoma solution to address regional haze,” Pruitt said. “Regional haze is about improving visibility, not about health. The Clean Air Act clearly gives states a primary role in implementing regulations to address regional haze. Oklahoma leaders crafted a commonsense plan to meet the goals of the Clean Air Act without imposing unnecessary rate hikes on Oklahomans. The EPA was wrong to ignore the Oklahoma plan and impose a federal plan.”

The Regional Haze Rule under the Clean Air Act requires agencies to work together to improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas by 2064. Oklahoma stakeholders crafted a State Implementation Plan to address the requirements of the rule in multiple parts of the state. The plan, submitted to the EPA in 2010, met the regional haze requirements by 2026 while significantly reducing the effect on utility consumers.

The EPA denied Oklahoma’s plan and implemented its own federal plan. Utility officials estimated the federal plan would increase utility rates for Oklahomans by 13 percent to 20 percent over three years.

The 10th Circuit stayed implementation of the federal plan in June 2012. A three-judge panel ruled 2-1 in favor of the federal agency on July 19. The attorney general’s request for an appeal seeks a rehearing before the entire 10th Circuit.


You can read a copy of the filing here: 9-3-13 Regional Haze Petition for Rehearing.