Topeka Federal environmental officials on Thursday urged state officials Thursday to adopt greenhouse gas regulations, but some state legislators balked at the idea.
State Rep. Carl Holmes, R-Liberal and chair of the House Energy and Utilities Committee, told EPA regional administrator Karl Brooks that the regulations will chase manufacturing plants and jobs overseas where there are no restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. "Is that the intent of this administration?," he asked.
Brooks responded that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and President Barack Obama are committed to growing the American economy. He said opponents of regulations often argue that the rules will hurt the economy but that the U.S. economy has grown like "gangbusters" during the past 40 years of environmental regulation under the Clean Air Act.
"A case can be made that when we take care of people's health and when we take care of our natural resources, everybody benefits," he said.
States are being told by the EPA to adjust their rules to accommodate federal greenhouse gas requirements that require large carbon dioxide emitters, such as coal-fired electric power plants, to utilize "best available control technologies" to reduce emissions.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is currently working on plans to implement the federal rule.