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Lawmakers to EPA: Don't close coal-fired power plants

Published March 7, 2014 9:47 am

Utah electricity • Worry coming rules could force plants here to shut down.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers new clean-air standards, Utah lawmakers want the agency to find ways to allow coal-burning electricity plants to continue to operate with commercially demonstrated technologies.

On Friday, the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously endorsed SCR9 calling for that, and sent it to the House for consideration.

Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, said he worries the EPA is considering such strict changes that coal-fired plants in his area will be forced out of business, even while coal would still be burned in places outside the United States that do not have as many pollution controls.

"It's either going to be burned clean in the United States, or it's going to get burned openly in other countries like India and China," he said. "I'd just like to see us have cheap, affordable power for our citizens, especially Utah."

Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, said, he would rather "keep the jobs here and use our clean technologies as let other parts of the world produce that energy and pollute the world."