WV Petitions Court to Reverse EPA Ruling

Updated 4 years ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that West Virginia led a bipartisan group of 12 states in a major court brief that presents its case as to why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should declare illegal a settlement agreement in which EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

The settlement agreement, which was entered into in 2011, committed EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The lawsuit contends this agreement is illegal because coal-fired power plants already are regulated under a separate section of the Clean Air Act. The law expressly prohibits the double regulation of these plants.
The case is before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. A ruling that EPA made an unlawful commitment could force EPA to abandon the currently pending rule.
“This filing represents a major, critical step in our Office’s efforts to protect West Virginia’s coal jobs and its economy,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We will not allow the Obama Administration’s overreach to affect the thousands of people who depend on this state’s coal industry to provide for their families, or affect the hardworking residents who will be subjected to higher energy costs should this flawed rule go forward.”
Last week, West Virginia, along with Nebraska and Oklahoma, led 14 other states in submitting formal comments to EPA regarding the proposed rule. The comments pointed out numerous, significant flaws in the rule, including EPA’s decision to illegally regulate existing coal-fired power plants under both Section 111(d) and Section 112. 
“In our comments, we pointed out the flaws with this proposed rule, and how this proposed rule on existing coal-fired power plants simply cannot be used to usurp a state’s authority to manage its power resources,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We will continue to use every legal tool available to protect our state from these kinds of broad, illegal actions.”
West Virginia is joined in the lawsuit by a bipartisan group of states including Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
A copy of the filing can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1y9vYeL. A copy of the formal comments submitted to EPA on behalf of West Virginia and 16 other states can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1zICqYy.
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