New EPA regulations on carbon 'pure fantasy,' Utah congressman says

Published: Monday, June 2 2014 6:45 p.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, June 2 2014 6:53 p.m. MDT

"In some cases it could be shutting down a unit over time or it could be not using it as much," he said.

According to the White House, 31 million metric tons of carbon pollution were emitted from power plants in Utah in 2012, an amount equal to the yearly pollution from more than 6.5 million cars.

The administration touted its support for renewable energy projects nationwide, including 469 in Utah generating enough power for more than 68,000 homes, as well as a University of Utah initiative to reduce energy intensity 20 percent by 2020.

But Stewart, the former head of the House Subcommittee on the Environment, said the proposed requirement will necessitate billions of dollars in renovations and cost more than 400,000 jobs.

"What the EPA is calling a 'common sense plan' is just pure fantasy. It's just another example of more expensive, big-government regulations and less freedom for American business and American families," Stewart said.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said because it's an election year, he is not surprised President Barack Obama is proposing "punitive new mandates that will ultimately curb domestic energy production" and raise energy costs.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the new mandates will "drive up the cost of electricity and other basic necessities … and create instability and vulnerability in our electric grid, while having little or no global environmental benefit."

So did Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who also raised concerns the president was taking executive action "to implement this misguided and unpopular approach," which he also called "a radical policy."

Email: lisa@deseretnews.com

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