ASHLAND — Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced that they have joined 10 other states in filing suit against the Environmental Protection Agency which in June proposed new regulations on carbon emissions.
Conway and Morrisey appeared in Ashland on Thursday along with several eastern Kentucky lawmakers to announce the lawsuit and why the officials say the agency does not have the authority to regulate carbon emissions in the state.
“The rules that have been proposed in my opinion, are not only illegal, but they fly in the face of environmental regulation,” said Conway. “If these rules, the way they were designed, go into effect, it’s going to harm residents not only just here in eastern Kentucky or northeastern Kentucky but in every corner of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Conway made it clear, that continuous regulations have crippled the coal industry and has cost the state thousands of jobs and he plans to not put up with what he says is the EPA overreaching their bounds.
“A few years ago, we had over 14,000 people employed in the coal industry,” said Conway. “At the end of last year, that number was about 7,300.”
The motion which was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals on August 1, alleges that the EPA, in 2011, settled a threatened lawsuit by environmental groups in agreeing to create guidelines for states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from certain power plants.
But, in 2012, the EPA enacted national standards on the same power plants, meaning the agency can’t require states to regulate the plants twice.
“A lot of the provisions which would be put into place now would be duplicative,” said Morrisey. “That’s one of the reasons why I don’t think this proposal is ever going to survive judicial scrutiny.”
Morrisey and Conway agree that they want to expedite the process to have their suit heard.
“Our people in our states cannot afford to wait two, three years to have this issue resolved,” said Morrisey. “There’s a real danger associated with these regulations now.”
Other states joining Kentucky and West Virginia in the law suit include Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming.
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- On September 4, 2014