Colorado joins Clean Power Plan challenge |

Colorado joins Clean Power Plan challenge

Patrick Kelly
located in Moffat County

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced Saturday that Colorado will be represented in a multi-state legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“The rule is an unprecedented attempt to expand the federal government’s regulatory control over the state’s energy economy,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman in a statement. “The EPA appears unwilling to accept limits set by Congress in the Clean Air Act and instead is pushing its agenda forward through regulatory rewrites that overreach its legal authority.”

Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid said the news made his whole month.

“This is wonderful news for the people of Northwest Colorado and frankly, for the entire nation,” he wrote in an email.

According to the White House, “The final Clean Power Plan sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, 9 percent more ambitious than the proposal.”

States will be responsible for creating their own plans to meet the requirements and have the option of working with other states by trading in an emission-credit market.

The Clean Power Plan sets two options for how states evaluate emissions — rate-based and mass-based.

A rate-based plan looks at pounds of carbon dioxide produced per megawatt hour while mass-based considers overall CO2 emissions.

In 2012, Colorado produced 1,973 pounds of CO2 for every megawatt hour generated, meaning it will have to achieve a 40 percent reduction to meet the 2030 goal of 1,174 pounds per megawatt hour.

For a mass-based plan, Colorado would seek to reduce total emissions by 28 percent, reducing to 29.9 million short tons of CO2 in 2030 from 2012’s 41.7 million short tons.

The Colorado Mining Association commended Coffman’s announcement in a news release.

“The EPA regulations are legally flawed, will cost Colorado jobs, and threaten the reliability of the electrical grid by mandating a wholesale restructuring of our electricity system for no appreciable benefit to the climate,” reads the release. “General Coffman’s announcement also demonstrates that Colorado is prepared to uphold the rule of law against a federal carbon regulatory scheme that is unprecedented in its over-reach of the authority provided under the Clean Air Act.”

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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