Utilities: EPA Haze Rule May Increase Energy Costs

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011, 12:34 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma utility officials say proposed federal guidelines to reduce regional haze could significantly increase electrical costs for consumers.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission took public comments Wednesday on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regional haze plan and its potential impact on Oklahoma utility customers.

The EPA plan is designed to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants and industrial sources to improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas. It has proposed partially approving and partially disapproving an implementation plan submitted by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Tom Schroedter of Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers said implementing the federal plan will increase Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. rates by up to 16 percent.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt says he has told EPA he will sue the agency if the rules are implemented.