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Cochran, Wicker petition for more time to mull EPA regulations

Sen. Roger Wicker

Sen. Roger Wicker

Sen. Thad Cochran

Sen. Thad Cochran

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) have endorsed an effort to give the public and stakeholders more time to comment on carbon emissions regulations being promoted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Cochran and Wicker are among 53 senators who signed a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that seeks a 60-day extension to the public comment period on proposed EPA rules and guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The senators argue that the extra time is warranted because of the scope and complexity of the rules that will have significant effects on costs and use of electric generation.

“The carbon emission limits set by the EPA for our state will affect energy costs for all Mississippians.  The EPA hasn’t provided our stakeholders, including utility companies and (the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality), with enough information to determine whether the rules are fair, justified or even workable,” Cochran said.

The letter argues that the additional 60 days would give including utilities, state regulators, regional generation and transmission organizations and others time to not only study the rule, but also the more than 600 supporting documents released by EPA.

Both Cochran and Wicker are original cosponsors of S.Res.512, a resolution calling for the EPA to withdraw its proposed rules and guidelines related to carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. S.Res.512 faults the EPA and Obama administration for an overly broad interpretation of the Clean Air Act, for disregarding the legislative process and for failing to complete a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed rules.

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