close
close

‘We must fight back:’ Wyoming takes first step to sue EPA over coal rule

CODY – Wyoming got the ball rolling on Friday to prepare for a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, a sprawling federal agency that wants to destroy coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

The Wyoming Energy Authority has opened a request for proposals (RFP) from “companies, organizations and individuals” to secure services in support of lawsuits against the EPA’s recent proposal that could result in the early retirement of in Wyoming-based power plants.

The RFP closes on June 14.

In an interview Friday on the sidelines of the Wyoming Mining Association’s annual convention in Cody, WEA executive director Rob Creager said it is taking $300,000 from a $1.2 million litigation fund established by the Legislature a few years ago. state was set up to combat Washington’s efforts to curb the oil spill. the electricity grid’s dependence on fossil fuels for power stations.

“We have to fight back,” Creager told Cowboy State Daily. “We don’t want coal to go anywhere but up. It is very dangerous what they are doing.”

What the rule does

The proposed EPA rule could shutter power plants just as demand for electricity in America is soaring, largely due to energy-starved corporate data centers and an increase in industry efforts to resupply factories in America.

“Wherever people stand on these rules, they don’t help. “If they go into effect, there’s no way they’re going to turn the power on with the timeline they’ve set and have the lights come on on the other side,” Creager said. “We want to make sure we produce as much energy from Wyoming as possible that is feasible and affordable.”

The EPA rule also affects the state’s efforts to boost investments in carbon capture equipment at power plants to reduce toxic air emissions, he said.

“What this rule does really impacts our approach to carbon capture and forces us into timelines that are just not realistic to do it properly and thoughtfully,” he said. “If this rule applies, disable your target or switch to gas. It is very expensive for the consumer to stop coal production, and for the utilities and essentially for the consumers as well if you have to switch to gas.”

WMA Executive Director Travis Deti applauded the state’s move.

“We are very happy to see this,” Deti said. “This is a big fight and we must use every means possible to win.”

The coal industry has been hit by a string of bad headlines lately.

The RFP is the first step in what could be a years-long battle to overturn an EPA rule issued in April that was intended to ban coal- and natural gas-fired power plants for the next decade. Such a move would hurt Wyoming economically. That’s why the WEA and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon are taking steps to sue the federal agency.

In Wyoming, the rules will affect many of the coal-fired power plants, from Naughton and Bridger in the southwestern part of the state, to Dry Fork near Gillette and the Dave Johnston plant near Glenrock.

The rules also represent a major economic blow to the Cowboy State’s coal empires The Powder River basin in the northeastern part of the state, where the industry employs more than 4,000 people.

  • U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants.  The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association's annual convention in Cody.  Above, Barrasso pointed out the importance of Wyoming's energy interest.  “We are America's energy breadbasket, producing 12 times the energy we use in this state,” Barrasso said.
    U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants. The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association’s annual convention in Cody. Above, Barrasso pointed out the importance of Wyoming’s energy interest. “We are the energy breadbasket of America, producing twelve times the amount of energy we use in this state,” said Barrasso (Pat Maio, Cowboy State Daily)
  • Rob Creager, executive director of the Wyoming Energy Authority, unveiled plans to get the ball rolling in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for creating rules that would phase out coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.  “We have to fight back,” Creager told Cowboy State Daily.  “We don't want coal to go anywhere but up.  It is very dangerous what they are doing.”
    Rob Creager, executive director of the Wyoming Energy Authority, unveiled plans to get the ball rolling in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for creating rules that would phase out coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. “We have to fight back,” Creager told Cowboy State Daily. “We don’t want coal to go anywhere but up. It is very dangerous what they are doing.” (Pat Maio, Cowboy State Daily)
  • U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants.  The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association's annual convention in Cody.  Above, Barrasso said the President has weaponized the EPA, "have armed them to prioritize climate over energy that is available, affordable and reliable.  Climate is a religion for them.”
    U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants. The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association’s annual convention in Cody. Above, Barrasso said the president has weaponized the EPA, “arming them to prioritize climate over energy that is available, affordable and reliable. Climate is a religion for them.” (Pat Maio, Cowboy State Daily)
  • U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants.  The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association's annual convention in Cody.  Above, Barrasso stands on stage as Lummis, second from left in the front row, listens to Barrasso's concerns about the Biden administration's attack on Wyoming's coal industry.  Lummis said plans are in the works to complement the EPA's efforts to end coal and another controversial rule being drafted by the Bureau of Land Management, which would ban coal leasing on public lands by 2041. to stop, to undo.  turn this thing around” in the first six months of a new administration, she said.
    U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants. The lawmakers delivered their remarks Friday at the Wyoming Mining Association’s annual convention in Cody. Above, Barrasso stands on stage as Lummis, second from left in the front row, listens to Barrasso’s concerns about the Biden administration’s attack on Wyoming’s coal industry. Lummis said plans are in the works to complement the EPA’s efforts to end coal and another controversial rule being drafted by the Bureau of Land Management, which would ban coal leasing on public lands by 2041 to stop, to undo. turn this thing around” in the first six months of a new administration, she said. (Pat Maio, Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming Lawmakers Reject the EPA

Meanwhile, U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans from Wyoming, have rejected regulations from the EPA and other federal agencies aimed at phasing out coal and natural gas power plants.

“We are in the most difficult time, with the most difficult administration, that we have ever seen,” Lummis said at the WMA convention. “The attacks on mining are unprecedented. This is a lawless government.”

Lummis said plans are in the works to complement the EPA’s efforts to end coal and another controversial rule being drafted by the Bureau of Land Management, which would ban coal leasing on public lands by 2041 to stop, to undo.

Should presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump win the November presidential election, we will be able to turn this around in the first six months after a Trump victory, Lummis said.

Barrasso echoed Lummis’ comments.

“We are America’s energy breadbasket, producing twelve times the amount of energy we use in this state,” Barrasso said.

“The President has weaponized the EPA, weaponizing them to prioritize climate over energy that is available, affordable and reliable. Climate is a religion for them,” he said of the Biden administration. “This comes at the same time when anyone who is rational, logical and understands energy would say, ‘We need more energy, not less, at a time when AI (artificial intelligence) is needed in terms of cryptocurrency.’

“They are trying to electrify the electricity grid and get more and more people to drive electric vehicles. We need more energy, not less.”

Gordon, who delivered a keynote speech at the WMA convention later Friday, has ordered Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill to investigate forming a coalition of states to challenge the new EPA rules in court .

Pat Maio can be reached at [email protected].

Back To Top