U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week to keep in mind rural Minnesota families and small businesses when they consider regulations on haze coming from power plants.
"We need to make sure the benefit outweighs the costs of new regulations," said Sen. Franken. "Working families shouldn't have to foot the bill for expensive and potentially unnecessary regulations, so I've pressed the EPA to keep in mind the cost to area residents and businesses as they evaluate whether to move forward."
North Dakota power plants that burn lignite coal have invested in innovative technologies to reduce emissions that contribute to haze. The EPA is considering regulations that would require additional retrofits that are not proven to be substantially effective for lignite coal. Sen. Franken asked that the Agency considers the impact on Minnesotans who would shoulder the burden of these costly technologies. To read Sen. Franken's letters to the EPA regarding regional haze, click here and here.
In 2011, Sen. Franken and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) urged the EPA to take into consideration electricity rate increases on Minnesota businesses and families when considering regional haze regulations.