CHARLESTON – January 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced his office will consider urging the U.S. Supreme Court to halt ongoing, irreversible harm caused by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Plan.
Today, a federal appeals court declined to stay the EPA from implementing its Power Plan as the broader lawsuit moves forward. The court, however, did agree to expedite hearing the case on the merits.
The Power Plan, if left intact, will lead to skyrocketing electricity bills and devastate West Virginia’s coal industry and the countless jobs depending upon its success.
“We are disappointed in today’s decision, but believe we will ultimately prevail in court,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The court did not issue a ruling on the merits and we remain confident that our arguments will prevail as the case continues. We are pleased, however, that the court has agreed to expedite hearing the case.”
Oral arguments on the merits of the case will take place June 2, per the court’s order.
While the overall case proceeds toward a ruling on the merits, West Virginia, other states and the broader coalition opposing the Power Plan now may consider asking the Supreme Court to take a second look. A favorable Supreme Court decision at this time would freeze EPA’s Power Plan and protect workers, job creators and state agencies from spending untold resources to comply with a rule that is likely to be struck down as illegal.
West Virginia joined Texas and 23 other states Oct. 23, 2015, in filing suit against the Power Plan, the very day it was published by President Obama’s EPA. Two other states joined in a Dec. 23, 2015, response brief that refuted EPA arguments and supported the granting of a stay.
The Power Plan exceeds EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation among other reasons.
States joining West Virginia and Texas in pushing for a stay were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the Departments of Environmental Quality in Mississippi and North Carolina.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office joined the broader coalition’s lawsuit against the EPA’s Power Plan in late December 2015.
Curtis Johnson 304.558.2021