Natural gas utilities move against new state clean air law

SPOKANE, Wash. — Several large natural gas utilities in Washington state are taking legal action against the state Department of Ecology over its recently-created Clean Air Act.

Avista Corp., Cascade Natural Gas Corp., NW Natural and Puget Sound Energy jointly challenged the new rule Tuesday in federal court in Spokane. They also plan to file a lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court.

The utilities say that reducing greenhouse gas emissions must be addressed, but that the new rules are not the solution.

A spokeswoman for the Ecology Department says they are evaluating the legal challenge, but are confident they have authority to regulate carbon pollution.

The utilities say they prefer a comprehensive nationwide solution to reduce greenhouse gases. They contend the new rule will penalize natural gas users.