Utah Moves To Sue California Over Fee On Coal Power

Feb 13, 2018

Utah lawmakers want the state to set aside $2 million to sue California over rules that make coal-fired power more expensive.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Mike Noel passed through a subcommittee Tuesday with only one Democratic lawmaker raising any objections. Noel says California's policy is hurting coal miners in his rural district and violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause.

California utilities pay an extra $15 per megawatt hour to buy power from Utah's coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant.

California Air Resources Board spokesman Stanley Young says the state's cap-and-trade system is aimed at reducing climate-changing gases no matter what state the coal comes from.

The system has survived previous court challenges from business leaders in California.

Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis says the lawsuit would be a waste of taxpayer money.