Attorney General Morrisey, 18 States Object to EPAs Cap And Trade Rule

Washington, D.C. – February 4, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey helped lead officials from 18 states in challenging a proposal to force cap-and-trade upon states that do not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Plan.

Participating states contend the EPA’s federal implementation plan, as set forth in relation to the Power Plan, upends state authority, increases electricity prices and violates numerous aspects of federal law.

Attorney General Morrisey objected to the implementation plan this month with a public comment letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. It stressed the states’ opposition to the underlying Power Plan, while questioning EPA’s authority and the plan’s ability to impact climate change.

“EPA lacks authority to force such radical change,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Congress soundly rejected this proposal once, and we urge EPA to withdraw the rule now as implementation would devastate countless jobs, increase utility costs and jeopardize the nation’s energy grid.”

Separate from the Power Plan’s illegality, the letter argues EPA lacks authority to impose a carbon credit trading program on states. Such a proposal runs contrary to the Clean Air Act, violates state sovereignty and raises serious constitutional issues.

Congress rejected President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal in 2009. Attorney General Morrisey and his partners argue that effort was unnecessary, if EPA truly believed the Clean Air Act already granted authority to enact such a program.

Many states signing this month’s letter previously joined Attorney General Morrisey in filing suit against the EPA’s Power Plan. The late October lawsuit argues the Power Plan exceeded EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.

Attorney General Morrisey, Texas and many of these same states urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to immediately halt the ongoing damage caused by the Power Plan.

Other states that joined in this month’s cap-and-trade letter were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, along with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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