Policy Documents

The Regional Haze Settlement Agreement Is a Terrible Deal for New Mexico

William Yeatman –
November 15, 2012

Working Paper Series

At issue is an EPA regulation, known as Regional Haze, which requires that states improve visibility at federal National Parks. In June 2011, New Mexico proposed a Regional Haze plan that required a $36-million retrofit at the San Juan Generating Station. Three months later, in August 2011, the EPA rejected the state’s plan, and imposed a federal plan that required a $375-million retrofit at the power plant—more than ten times the cost of the state’s original plan. In early October, after months of negotiation, the New Mexico Environment Department proposed a settlement agreement, to bridge the gap between the state and the EPA on Regional Haze.. This working paper, published by The Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Rio Grande Foundation, argues that New Mexico is much better off continuing to fight for its original, affordable Regional Haze proposal in court, because it is far more sensible and cost-effective than the other two options.