ICL’s mission is to protect the air you breathe and the places you love. Now, your voice is needed to protect both of those as we urge you to show support in the EPA’s efforts to protect air quality in the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and other places.
Coal-fired power plants are a major threat to our public health and climate stability. Over the years, we have made substantial progress in convincing our utilities to displace polluting fossil fuels with clean energy sources. A key part of this success is encouraging federal regulators to enforce the Clean Air Act through pollution controls at power plants. Once utilities are confronted with the full cost of a polluting fossil fuel plant, utilities realize that clean energy options are the lowest-cost way to provide power while protecting air quality and the climate.
Now, we need your help to protect this progress.
On January 18, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the Jim Bridger Power Plant, a coal-fired power plant in southwestern Wyoming, is out of compliance with federal air quality requirements. Bridger is jointly owned by PacifiCorp (called Rocky Mountain Power in southeastern Idaho) and Idaho Power, the utility for most of southern Idaho. In 2014, these utilities were told to install pollution controls on a portion of the plant by the end of 2021. These controls reduce air pollution, known as haze, in nearby national parks and wilderness areas. To date, however, the Bridger owners have failed to install these pollution controls, making Bridger the only coal-fired power plant in the region that is out of compliance with federal haze requirements.
Bridger’s failure to comply has negatively impacted Idahoans. Bridger’s pollution threatens air quality in nearby national parks and wilderness areas, such as Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. A reduction in air quality would damage the integrity of these natural protected areas that are iconic to our communities
Operating Bridger without pollution controls has masked the true cost of coal-fired power plants for the utilities. If PacifiCorp and Idaho Power had been faced with the full cost of Bridger, they would be more likely to exit coal and invest in clean energy options that would lower energy costs for Idahoans and protect the climate.
We need your voice to support the EPA as it stands up to these unruly polluters. The message is simple: PacifiCorp and Idaho Power had an obligation to comply with federal regulations and their failure to do so has worsened air quality and slowed progress in achieving Idaho’s clean energy goals. Idahoans value the spectacular views in our parks and wild areas, but Bridger’s pollution clouds those views while harming public health and our climate.
Join Idaho Conservation League and the Idaho Chapter of the Sierra Club to learn about the latest news on PacifiCorp’s and Idaho Power’s non-compliance with air pollution rules at their Wyoming coal plant, how it is threatening visibility at treasured places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, how it relates to our clean energy goals, and how YOU can take action by sending a comment to the EPA before the deadline on February 17. Register here!
Thank you, EPA, for standing up for public health and the environment by holding polluters accountable and upholding the law.