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WV attorney general sets out case for fighting EPA

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World Coal,

West Virginia’s attorney general has urged the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to declare the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants illegal.

Coal regulations are “blatantly violating the Clear Air Act”

“In its proposed rule, the EPA is blatantly violating the Clean Air Act,” said Patrick Morrisey. According to Morrisey’s brief, the act gives the EPA a choice between regulating only hazardous emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under national standards or requiring states to regulate any emissions from those plants on a state-by-state basis.

“The Clean Air Act explicitly prohibits the EPA from imposing both kinds of regulations on the same existing plants,” Morrisey explained in a press statement.

“Since coal-fired power plants are already regulated by the EPA under […] national standards, [it] it prohibited from imposing its new proposed state-by-state regulations on those same plants.”

The EPA: unconstrained leviathan

Morrisey also cited recent criticism of the EPA in a recent ruling by the justices of the US Supreme Court, who accused the agency of seeking an “enormous and transformative extension” of its authority without the approval of Congress. “The proposed rule for existing coal-fired power plants […] is even more obviously illegal than the rule the Supreme Court struck down,” said Morrisey, noting that even the EPA recognised that its rule violated the literal terms of the Clean Air Act.

“An agency should not be permitted to threaten to impose a rule that it know will never survive judicial review in order to scare regulated parties into closing their doors in anticipation of the rule being finalized,” concluded Morrisey. “We will use every legal tool possible to stop this flagrant overreach by [the] EPA in order to protect the hard working families of West Virginia.”

States unite against the proposals

Morrisey was representing a bipartisan group of nine states, including Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, as well as West Virginia.

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