The federal Environmental Protection Agency missed a key deadline in adoptingregulations requiring power plants to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and should be thrown out, Attorney Gen. Buddy Caldwellsaid in a Wednesday (Mar. 25) letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
But EPA officials said in a statement Monday afternoon that the agency isn’t required to withdraw the rule because of a missed deadline.
The letter written by Caldwell was signed by 18 other state attorneys general.
The new rules are part of President Barack Obama’s strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which have been linked to human-caused climate change, including increased levels of sea level rise and unusual weather patterns that are expected to increase over the next century.
The rules have been opposed by Louisiana and other states because of their potential costs to industries, including the electric utilities that would be required to reduce their emissions and companies and individuals that the utilities and states contend are likely to see increased electricity costs because of the reductions.
In his letter, the latest in a series of communications between state attorneys general and EPA over the rules, Caldwell contends that a provision of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to publish its final version of the rule “no later than one year following publication of the proposed rule,” which occurred on Jan. 8, 2014.
That time limit exists, in part, to assure that businesses considering construction of new plants aren’t “left in a state of uncertainty” with respect to the proposed rules, he said.
“Considering all of the grounds upon which this rule is likely to be overturned, and because the rule making threatens the citizens of the states, we as the chief legal officers of the states are notifying your agency that this proposed rule has expired,” he wrote. “It therefore must be withdrawn.”
In its statement, EPA said “It is incorrect that the consequences of EPA missing a deadline for finalizing a proposed rule is that EPA must withdraw the proposal. EPA remains obligated to finalize the rule.”
“In January, we said there are cross-cutting topics that affect the standards for new sources, for modified sources and for existing sources,” the statement said. “We believe it is essential to consider these overlapping issues in a coordinated fashion. To do so requires us to finalize all three rules–the new source standards, the standards for modified and reconstructed source and the Clean Power Plan — in a similar timeframe.”
Caldwell’s letter was also signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
See the article here.
- On April 2, 2015