August 17, 2023 |
Photo – Wyodak Power Plant in Powder Basin, WY – Courtesy clui.org
Wyoming scored a win over the Obama and Biden Administrations in federal court this week. The 10th Circuit Court in Denver handed Wyoming the victory in a case regarding emissions at the Wyodak Power Plant near Gillette.
More than 20 years ago, in 2011, Wyoming submitted its State Implementation Plan, establishing the process by which it would operate to meet the Clean Air Act’s Regional Haze Goals. The federal program requires the reduction of emissions that could impair the visibility surrounding national parks and monuments. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency rejected part of Wyoming’s plan and inserted its own Federal Implementation Plan requiring a different technological approach than the one approved by Wyoming.
In this week’s ruling, the Court indicated that EPA violated the Clean Air Act because EPA treated its own non-binding guidelines as mandatory. Additionally, Wyoming’s plan achieved the statutory goals at less cost than the federal plan, thereby setting a lower cost to American ratepayers.
“It is gratifying that the Court recognized this example of Federal overreach into what is the rightful domain of the State of Wyoming,” said Governor Mark Gordon. “Just because the Federal government may think it knows best, that doesn’t mean it can trample on the state’s rights.”
In the ruling, the Court also upheld the EPA’s decision to approve the State Implementation Plan for Naugton Units 1 and 2, located near Kemmerer.