About three weeks ago, Murray Energy took up a lawsuit against the EPA claiming that their regulations over power plants are “illegal, irrational, and radical.” Shortly thereafter, nine states came out in support of Murray Energy’s stance including Nebraska, Ohio, Alaska, Kentucky and West Virginia. Three weeks later, a trio of states have been added to that list–including South Carolina, South Dakota and Indiana–as part of a bipartisan brief led by Attorney General Patrick Morisey.
The brief is being filed to detail why the EPA thinks a 2011 settlement agreement–in which the EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants–should be voided. The 2011 agreement committed the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. According to the lawsuit, the agreement is not legal because a separate section of the Clean Air Act already regulates coal-fired power plants, and the law does not allow double regulation. The EPA has since gone on to continue to regulate those power plants under both sections of the agreement, despite admitting that the “literal” terms of the law prohibited such regulations.
Attorney General Patirck Morisey:
“This filing represents a major, critical step in our office’s efforts to protect West Virginia’s coal jobs and its economy. 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.”