EPA Guides States Past a Supreme Court Decision

June 2, 2016

Some state agencies continue to work on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) despite the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the rule. [NMA v EPA …] Undaunted, these agencies not only ignore a high court ruling that, for all practical purposes, shelved the administration’s signature climate change regulation but ignore also the governors and the state legislatures that have prudently decided to put pencils down until the legality of the rule has been decided.

Instead, they listen to friends of EPA like the National Association of Clean Air Agencies and the Natural Resources Defense Council that ask state agencies to pretend the Supreme Court stay never happened, as if it changes nothing. EPA, also in deep denial over the judicial decision, offers “technical” CPP guidance to states even though they don’t need it.

West Virginia Attorney General Morrissey recently expressed concern about EPA using this ploy to advance its now damaged climate agenda. As the leader of the 27 state AGs contesting the rule, Morrisey believes the Court’s stay foreshadows an ultimate decision to strike the rule down on the merits.

But even if the Clean Power Plan prevails, he says, “EPA will still have to reset all its deadlines.” [E&ENews, May 24] “We recognize there are different views of what the stay means,” said Morrisey. “But traditional law would suggest that you should put your pencils down.”

That is, listen to the Supreme Court, not the agency it ruled against.

Point well taken. In short, there is no good reason for any state to squander money and resources when it isn’t necessary.