Will the clean energy bill effect the Oklahoma energy industry? Most don't seem to think so.
The Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan likely will have little effect on Oklahoma, the state's largest utility companies said Monday. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he plans to repeal the plan Tuesday.
The Barack Obama-era environmental regulation was designed to reduce emissions from the country's power plants. Under the plan, the EPA has said it expected Oklahoma to cut its greenhouse gas emissions rate from power plants 32 percent by 2030.
As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt fought the Clean Power Plan at every stage, including in the draft stage before the rule was finalized in 2015.
But Oklahoma's electric utilities already have taken steps to reduce their emissions in effort to comply with other regulations, including Regional Haze and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
"We've already started down the path," Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Kathleen O'Shea said. "We have an early January 2019 deadline to be in compliance for Regional Haze, and we're continuing down that path."
OG&E earlier this year received preapproval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to install scrubbers on two coal units at its Sooner power plant near Red Rock. The utility is in the process of installing the scrubbers.
Tulsa-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma already has closed a portion of its coal-fired Northeastern power plant near Oologah, and has announced plans to close the remaining coal unit by 2026. The company also has said it recently spent $225 million on emissions controls at Northeastern and at its natural-gas fired Comanche Power Station near Lawton.
"We had already taken measures to address Regional Haze and MATS," PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford said. "Regional Haze hasn't been rolled back, and we've already done all the work at Northeast Station to comply with that."
State and regional plans had not been finalized under the Clean Power Plan, but PSO was expected to be in compliance.
"We really had not anticipated much effect on us if it went through, so when it's rolled back, we don't anticipated that change to have much affect on us either," Whiteford said.