October 30, 2015
On October 23, 2015, the day it was published in the Federal Register, a coalition of 24 states and a coal mining company filed lawsuits to challenge the most significant piece of President Obama’s environmental agenda, the Clean Power Plan, his signature climate change rule for power plants according to a report from The Hill.
The litigants accuse the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of going far beyond the authority Congress granted to it by ordering a significant transformation of states’ electricity generation, moving away from fossil fuels like coal and toward lower-carbon sources like wind and solar power.
They are asking the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn the rule. They also want the court to immediately stop its implementation while it works its way through the courts.
The climate rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, seeks a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon emissions by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Each state has been assigned a specific emissions goal based on its unique circumstances, with flexibility in how the goals are met.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), who is leading the legal fight against the plan, called it “the single most onerous and illegal regulations that we’ve seen coming out of D.C. in a long time.”
The EPA said its rule is legal and will pass all court challenges. “The Clean Power Plan has strong scientific and legal foundations, provides states with broad flexibilities to design and implement plans, and is clearly within EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.
“We are confident we will again prevail against these challenges and will be able to work with states to successfully implement these first-ever national standards to limit carbon pollution from the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States,” she said.
The states joining West Virginia are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Arizona and North Carolina.
What this means to you
Legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan will go on for years; many states (including those that are suing the administration) have started drafting plans to comply with the rules. That strategy reflects the uncertainty of the ultimate legal outcome — but also means many states could be well on the way to implementing the plan by the time the case reaches the Supreme Court. EPA has published state specific fact sheets.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn about emission control technologies for your engine.