Wyoming, along with the industries that work to provide energy to the state and the nation, are committed to clean air, clear visibility, and continued protection of the state’s natural areas. To accomplish that, Wyoming has a state implementation plan for regional haze. To date, Wyoming’s total reduction of NOx tons brought about through its state implementation plan is among the highest in the nation. Despite that, a federal agency has said that it wants to set aside the state’s regional haze program in order to implement a federal program. But when it comes to a federal takeover of the state’s visibility decisions, the benefits are hazy and the huge costs are crystal clear.
The benefits are hazy. According to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, the federal requirements would result in insignificant visibility differences.
And the huge costs are crystal clear. The federal government would require expensive technology to be installed on Wyoming power plants. It equates to more than $1 billion in capital costs and millions in annual operating expenses that couldn’t help but affect rate-payers in a difficult economy.
This expensive Washington solution will provide an insignificant benefit in Wyoming’s cities, national parks and wilderness areas. Most of the small amount of haze Wyoming has comes from wildfires and can’t be controlled in this plan.
There is a better way. Without the federal plan, Wyoming residents can count on the state and industry continuing to work together to preserve the state’s clean and clear air – making responsible investments and using proven technologies – taking a hazy federal mandate, and replacing it with a clear solution for Wyoming.
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