Oklahoma officials voice sharp criticism for Obama’s emissions rules


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Oklahoma political and business leaders on Monday challenged President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from the country’s power plants, criticizing the formal rules as expensive and overreaching.
Gov. Mary Fallin called the plan “one of the most expansive and expensive regulatory burdens every imposed on U.S. families and business leaders.”
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who already twice has sued the federal government over the proposed rules, pledged to continue challenging the plan.

The president on Monday called his Clean Power Plan the “single most important step American has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.”

The new EPA rules promise to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, but interim goals must be met by 2020. Pruitt has said EPA’s proposed interim goal for Oklahoma would mean a 33 percent reduction for carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 and an almost 36 percent decrease by 2030.

During a speech from the White House on Monday afternoon, Obama said power plants generate about one-third of the country’s carbon emissions, representing more emissions than cars, airplanes and homes combined. The plan allows states to develop their own plans for how to reduce the carbon emissions.

“This plan reflects the fact that not everybody is starting in the same place,” Obama said. “We’re giving states the time and flexibility they need to cut pollution in a way that works for them.”

Fallin, however, said the plan will cause more harm than good.

“The EPA’s new rules will have minimal environmental benefits; they will, however, threaten our fuel diversity and lead to significant increases in utility costs across the country,” Fallin said in a statement Monday.

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