- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Oklahoma Gas and Electric must reduce haze-causing emissions according the EPA's prescribed method.
- The appeals court (1) rejected the argument from OG&E and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt that the Oklahoma State Implementation Plan would have sufficiently met the federal Regional Haze requirement by transitioning the involved plants to low-sulfur coal and (2) affirmed the EPA’s right to require scrubbers at the plants.
- OG&E estimates the necessary retrofits at coal units in Red Rock and Muskogee will cost more than $1 billion but said it will meet the 55-month compliance deadline.
The Sierra Club welcomed the Supreme Court decision, saying the appeal’s rejection will end OG&E delays in meeting Clean Air Act mandates.
The federal Clean Air Act allows any state to make its own plan for reducing power plant emissions but the appeals court decision found the EPA was within its rights to review and reject as inadequate OG&E’s plan.
The dissenting judge in the 2-1 appeals court decision, an outspoken critic of the Obama EPA, said the EPA plan would make “no appreciable change in visibility…[or] air quality” and attacked the “EPA’s ‘command and control’ approach to regional haze regulation.”