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WGA adopts resolution on EPA regulations

PIERRE -- A Western Governors Association resolution championed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new regulations under the Clean Air Act has been passed.

The western governors voted to adopt the resolution Gov. Daugaard helped craft on Wednesday at the annual meeting in Colorado Springs.

"Historically, the federal government has recognized that the Clean Air Act provides authority for the states to manage air quality," Daugaard said in a news release. "This concept of cooperative federalism is appropriate because every state has differing industries, geographies and populations."

The resolution asserts that states should be treated as co-regulators of the environment. Under the resolution, the WGA is authorized to encourage federal officials to take the views of the states into consideration, avoid duplicative reporting requirements and grant flexibility in state implementation methods.

The resolution will also serve as a mechanism for western states to give input on the recently proposed EPA regulations for existing power plants.

"I am very concerned about these proposed rules," Daugaard said. "Western states agree an 'all of the above' strategy is needed to reach North American energy independence. Energy generation should be clean, while at the same time affordable. It isn't clear if we can have both under these new regulations."