State moves to comply with EPA Clean Power Plan | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 24, 2015

State moves to comply with EPA Clean Power Plan

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Yes, I suppose it is news when heads of two Arkansas state agencies — headed by Republicans, even — comply with the federal law. It hasn't stopped the governor from prohibiting women access to gynecological services of their choice, as Medicaid requires; nor has it stopped the legislature from passing laws aimed at legalizing discrimination against gay people despite the Constitution's promise of equal protection.

The Sierra Club explains and lauds law compliance on the Clean Power Plan:

Today, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Public Service Commission announced the beginning of an effort to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. ADEQ Director Becky Keogh and PSC Chair Ted Thomas discussed the reconvening of a stakeholder group to begin considering how Arkansas will reduce its CO2 emissions by 36% by the year 2030.

In response, the Sierra Club of Arkansas released the following statement from Director Glen Hooks:

"The Sierra Club commends the ADEQ and PSC for moving forward on carbon reduction planning. While some national political figures are urging states to simply ignore the Clean Power Plan, Director Keogh and Chairman Thomas are showing responsible, nonpartisan leadership that is good for Arkansas. By working together with all stakeholders, Arkansas can take charge of writing its own plan that will dramatically improve our health, our environment, and our economy.

"While it is unfortunate that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is still pursuing what will ultimately be another failed legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan, Sierra Club looks forward to working closely with those who are committed to cleaning up our air and our energy supply. By working together, we can create thousands of new clean energy jobs here in our state, all while improving our air quality and protecting the health of Arkansans."

Mark Carter of Arkansas Business reports on remarks today by Keogh and Thomas. Both noted reductions in goals to reduce pollution in the final rule. They also said the state will continue to litigate and fight the reduction in pollutants as a burden on industry. Proponents say savings in health and stimulus of development of alternate energy will more than overcome costs to utility companies to reduce emission of dangerous chemicals.

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