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Lavish Judge Retreats and EPA Haze Rehearing Petition

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By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on September 05, 2013 12:59 PM

The Tenth Circuit didn't have any cases making jurisprudential history this week, though it has managed to stay in the news. One item can have serious repercussions for Oklahoma consumers, while the other seems immune from sequester cuts.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric Requests Rehearing En Banc

Back in July, the Tenth Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, held that the EPA was correct in rejecting Oklahoma State's plan to deal with the Clean Air Act's regional haze provisions. Specifically, the EPA rejected Oklahoma's plan to limit sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants operated by the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company. The court found that the EPA "has authority to review the state's plan and that it lawfully exercised that authority in rejecting it and promulgating its own."

Earlier this week, Oklahoma Gas & Electric was joined by Oklahoma Attorney General, in petitioning the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing en banc, before all ten judges, reports PR Newswire. According to KTEN, if the decision is left as is, the EPA rules could result in a 13% to 20% rise in utility rates for Oklahoma residents.

Lavish Five Star Retreats for Federal Judges

While all areas of government have been cutting back as a result of sequestration, the Tenth Circuit had a lavish retreat this past weekend at a five star resort at Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, reports WHIO radio. This has left many residents of Tenth Circuit states not feeling very happy.

The original retreat was scheduled for last year and was postponed because of budget issues. David Tighe, an executive for the Tenth Circuit stated: "We again considered canceling the conference when the sequester occurred, but the hotel cancellation fees made it more cost-effective to proceed."

Many judicial retreats have been put on the American peoples' radar by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who has also noted other retreats for judges in the Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, and one upcoming one for the Third Circuit judges, reports WHIO.

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