16 states seek to put the brakes on EPA Clean Power Plan

Two days after President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced issuance of the final version of the Clean Power Plan, 16 states have sought an administrative stay to put the carbon reduction plan on hold.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said in an Aug. 5 press release that he is joining with 15 other states in asking for EPA to hold up implementation of the plan to have states cut power sector CO2 32% by 2030.

The stay request filed with the EPA asks the agency to halt implementation of this onerous regulatory scheme until the courts have a chance to rule on its legality. Attorney General Morrisey and the coalition believe they have a strong case on the merits and will prevail in court once their case is heard.

“While agencies rarely grant these types of requests, given the importance of the matter and the significant economic effects this rule could have, we hope the EPA takes time to review our request and provide an answer soon,” Morrisey said.

 Morrisey was joined in this request by the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Action on this application is respectfully requested by 4PM EST on Aug. 7. The states want a quick turnaround so they “can know whether they must seek emergency relief in court. The States will treat the agency’s failure to act upon this request within the requested time as a constructive denial of the request,” according to the petition.

“The lion’s share of the Section 111(d) Rule relies not upon regulating coal-fired power plants to make them more environmentally friendly, but on requiring States to adopt broad energy policy measures to replace demand for coal-fired energy with demand for EPA’s preferred sources of energy,” the states argue.

“This novel approach is unlawful in numerous respects,” the states contend.

The case is filed as EPA Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-20 13-0602; Application for an Administrative Stay of the Final Rule on Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.