Lummis Questions EPA Nominee about Wyoming Power Plant Regulation

June 17, 2021

Washington, D.C. – U.S.Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) today questioned Jeffrey Prieto, President Biden’s nominee to be general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), during a hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Lummis questioned Prieto about the EPA’s recent actions in Wyoming over regional haze rules and water jurisdiction.

Last year, the state of Wyoming and the EPA reached an agreement on regional haze guidelines that govern emissions from the Wyodak and Jim Bridger power plants in Gillette and Point of Rocks, Wyoming, respectively.

Last week, Wyoming learned that the EPA would not be submitting the Jim Bridger plant agreement to the Federal Register for ratification. This EPA action undermines the state’s ability to effectively regulate air quality, and threatens to force a one-size-fits-all federal regulatory framework on the facility.

“Wyoming has a long history of regulating its air quality, and that means we have a long history of working with the EPA,” Lummis said about the EPA/Wyoming collaboration during the hearing. She added that the now-imperiled Jim Bridger agreement “was a result of negotiations that met every EPA request and requirement.”

Lummis pressed Prieto to commit to review the Jim Bridger plant and honor last year’s agreement. Prieto said he would like to be briefed on the matter and would look into it if confirmed.

To view video of Senator Lummis’s questions, click here.