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Utah sues over new EPA ozone protection rule

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(The Center Square) – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency due to its newly-released power plant regulations.

The EPA implemented the Ozone Interstate Transport Rule. It requires states to implement a plan to reduce interstate air pollution.

The move has drawn backlash from many of Utah’s elected Republican politicians.

Gov. Spencer Cox, Attorney General Reyes, Senate President J. Stuart Adams, House Speaker Brad Wilson, U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, and Congressmen Chris Stewart, John Curtis, Burgess Owens, and Blake Moore issued a joint statement condemning the decision.

In it, the politicians said Utah had taken responsible action to reduce its emissions while protecting the quality of life of its citizens.

“Utah’s measured, all-of-the-above energy policy has powered decades of prosperity by providing some of the country’s most reliable and affordable energy,” the lawmakers wrote in a statement posted to the governor’s Twitter account. “This balanced and commonsense approach has powered our state, fueled our economy, and maintained a high quality of life for Utahns. We have also dramatically decreased emissions and ozone on our own. However, the Biden administration has turned to executive rulemaking to enact policies that will force early closures of Utah power plants, putting reliable, affordable, and dispatchable power significantly at risk – and only in a few years.”

The lawmakers think the move will hurt the state’s ability to produce affordable energy.

“The Ozone Interstate Transport Rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency harms Utahns and threatens our ability to provide affordable and reliable baseload energy to our state,” the lawmakers wrote. “We will not stand by as the administration encroaches on Utah’s reasonable, responsible, and realistic approach to powering our state.

“As Utah’s elected state leaders, we stand united in pushing back against the administration’s egregious power grab that harms Utahns,” they added. “We will each fight for a responsible energy policy that embraces efficiency and is based in reality because keeping the lights on is the only option.”

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