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EPA Agrees to Inhofe Request for Haze Hearing in Tulsa

Discussion to focus on need for affordable energy, reducing emissions

Washington, D.C. - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today welcomed the announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold a second hearing in Tulsa on Oklahoma's proposed solution for regional haze.  EPA's announcement follows Sen. Inhofe's March 17 letter to EPA Region 6 Administrator Dr. Al Armendariz, in which Inhofe requested the hearing.

The hearing will address the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality backed-plan that balances environmental protection and the need for affordable, reliable energy for state utility customers.  In a misguided decision, EPA rejected ODEQ's solution and assumed control of Oklahoma's regional haze planning and implementation. 

"I want to thank EPA, in particular Region 6 Administrator Dr. Armendariz, for agreeing to my request to hold a hearing in Tulsa," Senator Inhofe said. "It will provide an opportunity for local businesses, farmers and manufacturers to understand the reasoning behind EPA's decision, which is estimated to cost state utilities $2 billion.  Oklahoma consumers would undoubtedly foot the bill.  

"I look forward to an open, frank discussion between EPA and Oklahoma residents about the need for affordable, reliable energy and continuing the state's progress in reducing emissions and protecting the environment."