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Calif. Lawmaker Chides EPA for Approving Coal Plant

Date: 21-Sep-07
Country: US

The EPA granted on August 30 a permit for a 110-megawatt
coal-fired plant to Deseret Power for the proposed Bonanza
Power Plant in Uintah County, Utah.

It was the first time the EPA ruled on a coal-fired power
plant since the US Supreme Court last spring ruled that the
EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that
spur global warming, and that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

"Remarkably, EPA refused to consider the global warming
effects of the plant or to require any measures to mitigate
that harm, contravening a Clean Air Act mandate and ignoring
EPA's ample discretionary authority to act," wrote California
Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman to EPA Director Stephen
Johnson.

Waxman also wrote to Johnson that "your agency is ignoring
the threat of climate change in approving new coal-fired power
plants, one of the dominant sources of the global warming gas
carbon dioxide. This is both illegal under the Clean Air Act
and an enormous missed opportunity."

Waxman's letter raised concern that the EPA will soon focus
on permits for three huge coal-fired plants each about 15 times
bigger than the Bonanza plant -- the White Pine plant in
Nevada, the Desert Rock plant on Navajo land in New Mexico, and
the Carlson plant in New York.

Waxman told Johnson he wants a moratorium on approval of
coal-fired power plant permits from the EPA until greenhouse
gas emissions from the plants are considered.

Officials at the EPA were not available for comment on
Wednesday evening.

Waxman said in his letter to Johnson that he wants a
response from the EPA and Johnson by Oct. 3.

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