Lawmakers (including those in leadership on both sides of the aisle), Xcel Energy, environmentalists, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Public Utilities Commission and any other group that championed Colorado’s needlessly expensive, likely illegal Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) have A LOT of explaining to do. We were told repeatedly that if we did not implement our own SIP via HB 1291, the Environmental Protection Agency will do it for us. Here’s just one example:
Consider this HB 1365 direct testimony from Ritter administration air quality official Paul Tourangeau (p 3), director of the Air Pollution Control Division,
Q: What if the Regional Haze SIP is not submitted to EPA by January 2011?
A: If the Regional Haze is not submitted to EPA on time, EPA will take over the Department’s regional haze program and regulate utilities and other large sources of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide in the state through an EPA-promulgated Federal Implementation Plan. An EPA FIP would impose federal mandates on the large NOx and SO2 sources in the state, including Xcel facilities.
Turns out that wasn’t true as energy expert William Yeatman exposes in a recent post:
Last Wednesday, the lawyers were proven wrong, when the EPA announced that it would get around to deciding on Colorado’s RHSIP…in March 2012. Thanks to the lies peddled by special interests, Colorado ratepayers are $120 million poorer.
We hate to say “we told you so” but truly we did.