A coal-fired power plant in Craig, Colo. Existing plants are not affected by the proposed EPA rules, but the EPA plans to release rules for existing plants later in 2014.

(Photo: Courtesy of Craig Station)
Officials in northwest Colorado have asked Gov. John Hickenlooper to fight proposed environmental rules affecting new power plants, and the governor says he'll consider it.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tighter caps on carbon emissions for the plants that, if finalized, won’t take effect for a few years and won’t affect existing plants. 

"I think the question that I heard in northwest Colorado is, 'What is the cost? Are these limits too restrictive?'," the governor said Tuesday. 

He said he hasn't examined the rules closely enough to decide whether he will fight them.

"But I do think it is our responsibility to go through the EPA rules and examine, 'Are these limits appropriate for Colorado?' And if we think that they're too restrictive, then we should fight them," Gov. Hickenlooper said.

The EPA has proposed the rules under the Clean Air Act, through which Congress gave the agency authority to put in emissions controls specifically for new power plants. The rules are part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, which Gov. Hickenlooper endorsed in a letter with other governors in July 2013.

The EPA plans to propose separate rules for existing power plants later this year.


More on the governor's conversation on Tuesday with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner is available here