- Associated Press - Saturday, February 20, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gov. Jack Dalrymple said he will meet with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to discuss the agency’s proposed carbon emissions standards for existing coal-based power plants.

Dalrymple is meeting with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to encourage the agency to reconsider its approach to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled power plants in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to suspend the rules. He said the EPA should work with Congress, the states, industry and consumers to develop a responsible strategy for continued reductions in CO2 emissions.

“These power plants have continued to reduce emissions while providing an efficient and cost-effective energy source,” Dalrymple said in a statement. “Unattainable standards would undermine the nation’s energy security and would lead to lost jobs and higher electricity costs for consumers.”

President Barack Obama last August unveiled rules designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Under the new standards, North Dakota must cut its emission rate by almost 45 percent by 2030 - a reduction that state and industry officials believe could jeopardize North Dakota’s seven coal-fueled power plants and $4 billion lignite industry.

Justices have put the rules on hold while a legal challenge led by the state proceeds. White House officials issued a statement saying they disagreed with the decision and that “we remain confident that we will prevail on the merits.”

Dalrymple said coal-fired power plants provide about 80 percent of North Dakota’s residential and commercial energy supply, while also providing power to surrounding states. He said private industry and researchers are developing innovative solutions to further reduce carbon emissions, including work underway at the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center to capture carbon and use it for advanced oil recovery.

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