Remember when Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) chief Dr. Larry Wolk told the Denver Post‘s Vincent Carroll that his agency was “the conduit for the EPA”?
The response followed a question from attorney Ray Gifford that Carroll then posed to Wolk in the context of President Obama’s controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP) and whether or not CDPHE needed state legislative approval to comply with the CPP:
“Does the CDPHE have the authority to order the dispatch of gas turbines?” asks Gifford. “Does it have the authority to create and impose a renewable energy standard? Does it have the authority to impose and then audit an energy efficiency standard? If you ask the questions that way, I think you have to say, ‘Absolutely not.’ ”
Wolk disagrees. He believes his agency enjoys such sweeping power already as “the conduit for the EPA.” [emphasis added]
I asked him: “So you’ll give the marching orders to all of the utilities in the state?”
“Yes,” he said, “in consultation with the EPA, the PUC and others.”
But that was President Obama’s EPA. In 2017 the EPA will be very different under a President Trump administration. During the campaign, Mr. Trump said the Clean Power Plan is DOA.
Now, the question is whether Dr. Wolk, a Governor Hickenlooper appointee who supports the CPP, still views his agency as “the conduit for the EPA” under President Trump. If he’s consistent, then Dr. Wolk and CDPHE must tell Xcel Energy to STOP planning for the CPP. After all, he admits his agency is just an EPA pipeline.