A group of 15 state attorneys general on Thursday asked a federal court to delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan until legal challenges against it had been dealt with, saying it would save states spending millions of dollars preparing for a plan that might never be implemented.
The group was led by West Virginia’s attorney general Patrick Morrisey, who said the EPA did not have legal authority to carry out the plan.
Normally requests for courts to freeze policy implementation would be submitted when a lawsuit is filed, but the attorneys general said in this case there was no time for that.
“If we were to wait on the EPA to get this rule published, it could be well into 2016 before the States complete arguments and receive a ruling on a request to stay this rule,” he said in a statement.
“By that time, many states will already be in the middle of drafting their compliance plans ahead of the September 2016 deadline. We want to ensure that no more taxpayer money or resources are wastefully spent in an attempt to comply with this unlawful rule that we believe will ultimately be thrown out in court.”
The final Clean Power Plan, which is expected to trigger a busy carbon market in the US, aims to bring CO2 emissions from power plants down to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.
But Republicans are expected to fight it tooth and nail, claiming it will rise electricity prices and threaten grid stability. Several lawsuits have already been filed, and lost.
In addition to West Virginia, Thursday’s petition was signed by the AGs of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org