Obama’s Clean Power Plan: Oklahoma Officials Attack, Utilities on Path to Comply
Even before the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan was finalized, politicians in Oklahoma were already fighting it in the court of public opinion, and in real court, too. And Gov. Mary Fallin has vowed that Oklahoma will not submit a state compliance plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
But as Paul Monies with The Oklahoman reports, Oklahoma’s largest utility companies say they’re already on track to meet the carbon-reduction goals in the federal plan:
Politically, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan remains a pariah in Republican-dominated Oklahoma. But behind the scenes, officials and utility representatives are poring over the 3,000-page rule and finding the state could be well on the way toward meeting its greenhouse gas reduction goals by 2030.
…“We’re well on our way to compliance with the plans we have in place,” said Randy Swanson, [Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s] director of public affairs.
Because of previous EPA regulations like the Regional Haze Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Oklahoma’s power companies are already retiring old coal-fired power plants in favor of natural gas-fueled plants, or installing expensive air scrubbers on existing coal facilities. An OG&E representative told The Oklahoman converting two coal units at its Muskogee plant would cut the utility’s carbon emissions by 30 percent. The Clean Power Plan calls a nationwide cut in carbon dioxide emissions of 32 percent.
The state’s second largest utility — Public Service Company of Oklahoma — also appears to be well on its way to compliance with the Clean Power Plan: