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Dozen States Sue to Block EPA Carbon Regulations

“We will use many different tactics to fight this rule,” vows governor of the largest coal-producing state.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

August 12, 2014 - 10:38 pm
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WASHINGTON – Twelve states, including coal-rich Kentucky, Wyoming and West Virginia, have filed a federal lawsuit to roll back a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation regarding carbon emissions at existing power plants.

In a petition filed with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., the states maintain that the changes likely to be demanded by the agency will force them to “undertake burdensome measures in the coming months to meet the demands of the unlawful rule.”

“We will use many different tactics to fight this rule,” said Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, whose state is the nation’s largest coal producer. “It is an overreach and is harmful to the economy of the entire country and in particular to Wyoming. We need affordable energy and a clean environment. We can have both, but this is not how we get there. This rule goes too far.”

The EPA, for the first time, is seeking to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in an effort to address global warming and concerns about the nation’s health. The proposed new rules create a national framework to set state-specific goals to cut carbon pollution per megawatt hour of electricity generated and authorizes the states to determine how to best meet those goals. The EPA is in the midst of a 120-day comment period to collect feedback on the package.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest carbon producers in the U.S., accounting for about one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently told a Senate committee that the rule, if implemented, will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of other harmful air pollutants. By 2030, the proposal is expected to result in about 30 percent less carbon pollution from the power sector across the U.S. when compared with 2005 levels, removing 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air.

In the first year alone, the EPA predicts the regulation will result in 100,000 fewer asthma attacks and 2,100 fewer heart attacks. By 2030, the regulations will result in climate and health benefits resulting in a savings of up to $90 billion.

But the states filing suit maintain the EPA is engaged in a massive and illegal overreach. The suit claims the EPA is basing its proposed rule on a misinterpretation of the plain language of the Clean Air Act.

According to the suit, legal precedent and the Clean Air Act establish that the agency can’t impose new regulations under the section of the Clean Air Act it cites since it already is regulating the power plants under a different section.

The suit cites a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that maintains, “EPA may not employ [Section 111(d)] if existing stationary sources of the pollutant in question are regulated under…the ‘hazardous air pollutants’ program.”

In early 2013, the EPA finalized their Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which regulate coal plants under Section 112 of the act. Even though the act prohibits additional regulation under Section 111(d), according to the suit, the EPA published its proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants under Section 111(d). That action violates the Clean Air Act, according to the 12 states, as well as court precedent. Wyoming and the other states are asking the court to halt EPA’s action.

“When Congress wrote this language, they did it knowing that coal plants should not be regulated twice,” Mead said. “Shutting down coal-fired power plants hurts the economy. We are aggressively opposing this proposal. I want the rule withdrawn or amended to encourage innovation rather than stifling an industry.”

Top Rated Comments   
What utter BS. You guys throw these numbers around like you actually know what you are talking about. Besides this is about CO2 - where the small increases we are talking about have no adverse affect on public health whatsoever. And the "environmental damage" you speak of is just a long term projection by the self-serving AGW movement - based on ridiculously simplistic and non-robust models using fudged input data.

If you want to separate out pollutants from CO2 and then have an adult discussion about the cost-benefit of the EPA's hyper regulations, then we can have a conversation. Otherwise stick to the low information dupes who buy into your story.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
The EPA is doing Obama's bidding. His job is to "cut us down to size" and raising the price of electricity is the best way to kill the economy.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's to bad there is not a lawsuit to disband the EPA. Like other Federal government agencies, they have forgotten who they work for. What a bunch of agenda 21 UN lovers the Federal government has become.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The EPA, for the first time, is seeking to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in an effort to address......concerns about the nation’s health.

It is unlikely that there is a less true, less factual statement floating anywhere around our internet.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
“We will use many different tactics to fight this rule”

Speaking of States and tactics - here's one that might actually work, since it is not dependent upon a federal government which long ago usurped authority over the limits of the federal government's authority...

http://bit.ly/1p6qQml
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
The new PM of Australia first order of Business was as he promised to get rid of the Hated CO2 Tax there .
He called the Scam of all Scams .
Oh by the way
Australia just had it coldest winter since the early 1900s .
Need we forget the Great Lakes all Froze over solid . The first time since 1972 .
The lake temps as of July I were 20 degrees cooler than normal .
My beloved Va just had it coldest winter since 1984 .
This entire summer has not been hot at all with many nights in the low 60.s .
MY AC Bill is a lot lower !!!!!!!
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here we go again:

Way back in the Day, the proponents of Asbestos predicted 20,000
deaths from cancer due to Asbestos exposure...which never happened.

Note that tCrocidolite aka blue asbestos does cause cancer, but
was only used in a few specialized applications, such as insulating
ship's boilers; Exposure to this type killed Steve McQueen.

Why the false assertions of widespread deaths ?
Same as the case of C02; There is MONEY to be made.

5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last winter the grid managers had to scramble to keep everyone in power. Predictions are next winter will be worse. And the EPA is reducing grid capacity. I hope that, when someplace has to be shed, it's DC and southern Maryland.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where's stupid Colorado? Why haven't they joined this lawsuit? They are one of the largest coal-producing states in the nation.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our Republican A.G. here in Colorado is busy right now, trying to cope with an onslaught of litigation against the state's ban on gay marriage.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nevada's RINO governor joined with Hairy Roid to accelerate the process of closing down our coal power plants and to increase the building of solar power plants. Then Warren Buffett bought our state's biggest power company, NV Energy. Rates have gone up. The politically connected have benefited, while the rest of us continue to pay.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Currently, the pollution that coal power plants generate costs the US about $500 billion a year in health care costs and environmental damage. If the coal industry wants to pay back businesses and taxpayers that amount, I would support loosened restrictions on CO2 emissions.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can make up numbers, too. Would you like me to start? $500 billion is $1600 per person. So coal jammed my family $6400 last year? What kind of innumerate thinks this stuff up? Do you want to externalize the costs of the coal power used to power hospitals and daycare centers? grocery stores?, Apple HQ's? Douchebag manufacturing plants?
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
and you get this figure from where? or maybe you get these figures from tose with vested interest in continuing to draw government paychecks to promote this.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stop with the Kool-aid - it's not healthy.

And who said anything about LOOSENING restrictions, apart from you? We just want the noose to not tighten any further.

How about a deal: for every coal-fired power plant that's closed, we build an equivalent-output hydro dam or nuke plant. You want power with no emissions, that's what you need.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just stop the coal industry from externalizing their costs and making us pay for them. We have been subsidizing them for too long.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bootsie, I agree, I think you should pay $10/KWh for your power from the coal plants; then they can take the $9.65 that you overpaid for the costs they externalized and they can donate it to medicare. Everyone wins!!!!
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you're onto something! We should also stop the food industry, clothing industry, transportation industry, housing industry, medical industry etc. from "externalizing" their costs.

An idea that rates right up there with "get companies to pay taxes".

OK, I'm kidding, you're actually NOT onto something. Keep saying this over and over until you understand," only consumers are capable of paying for things".
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another ridiculous comment throwing around buzzwords without any understanding. So lets make the coal companies and coal-based power generators pay more. Then they will pass these extra costs on to the local consumers as they must if they want to stay in business. Now the federal government has the local consumers money and what will they do with it? How will they defray these nebulous externalized costs of the coal industry? There is no rationality to your point of view. Just a useful dupe for those who desire to grow government and have more money to cover their quixotic campaigns along with the extravagances, fraud and waste that always attend them.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
What utter BS. You guys throw these numbers around like you actually know what you are talking about. Besides this is about CO2 - where the small increases we are talking about have no adverse affect on public health whatsoever. And the "environmental damage" you speak of is just a long term projection by the self-serving AGW movement - based on ridiculously simplistic and non-robust models using fudged input data.

If you want to separate out pollutants from CO2 and then have an adult discussion about the cost-benefit of the EPA's hyper regulations, then we can have a conversation. Otherwise stick to the low information dupes who buy into your story.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
"if you want to separate out pollutants......." Whatever happened to the concept of clean coal that would allow the continuing use of coal for decades. Industry seems to have forgotten about that.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
While the cheap, abundant energy provided by coal saves hundreds of thousands of lives per year, as it allows the lights to stay on in hospitals and doctors offices across the country.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Obama’s desire “to protect our climate is one that I share, . . "

How does one protect climate? How did it ever come to this - where a President and a governor could agree on something so irrational and absurd. What governor Beshear should be saying to the EPA is "get the h*ll out of my state and take the NEA, HUD, the DOJ, the BLM and the NLRB with you". And if the Supreme Court doesn't agree, they can leave too.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK. Assume these states win their law suit. The morning after victory, coal will still be getting its royal butt kicked in the marketplace by natural gas, which is cleaner burning and cheaper.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then what is your problem? If coal is being replaced right now by market forces, what need for burdensome regulations at all?
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes but the existing plants can at least see out their designed life. Shutting them down or forcing useless expensive upgrades is not productive. Germany is going coal, there is a large export market and we got so much of it should we just ignore it?
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
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