We are pleased to see that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is once again leading a coalition of 23 states in a lawsuit seeking to strike down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s crippling Clean Power Plan.
In the petition for review and stay motions, which were filed Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the 23 states correctly argue that the EPA rule is illegal and will have devastating impacts upon the states and their citizens. We’ve already seen great harm done right here in West Virginia and neighboring Southwest Virginia. There is a reason why West Virginia has the nation’s highest number of citizens collecting unemployment benefits.
The states challenging the rule include West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporations Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Noticeably absent from the list once again is the state of Virginia, where the administration of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has refused to challenge these crippling federal regulations targeting coal. But thankfully Morrisey is continuing this urgent fight.
“The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in this nation’s history,” Morrisey said last week. “West Virginia is proud to be leading the charge against this administration’s blatant and unprecedented attack on coal.”
The new EPA rule forces states to develop plans to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 32 percent by 2030. The Obama administration’s led EPA claims this goal can be accomplished by reducing or eliminating coal-based energy generation. Or, in more simpler terms, more coal mines and coal-fired power plants will be closed, and more coal miners and related workers will become unemployed.
Morrisey argues that the Section 111(d) rule exceeds the EPA’s authority by unlawfully forcing states to fundamentally alter state resource-planning and energy policy by shifting from coal-fired generation to other sources of power generation, with a significant emphasis on renewable sources. Morrisey says the rule is also illegal because it seeks to require states to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the act.
We believe that it is critical for the states to continue the fight against this crippling new rule in the courts. Lawmakers — both Republicans and Democrats — on the local, state and federal level must do everything within their power to stop these crippling regulations that are causing such great harm to our region.
See the article here.
- On October 27, 2015