But it did illuminate a key aspect of their legal strategy: retaining the same three Republican-appointed judges who considered an earlier, premature challenge to the regulations before they were finalized.
“This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out”, said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. A recent Gallup poll found that 62% of Americans do not see climate change as a serious threat.
West Virginia, which relies heavily on coal to produce electricity, is one of the states that has become ground zero in a battle with the White House over what some have dubbed the “war on coal“.
The language of the CPP requires states to submit an implementation plan by December 6, 2016, to the EPA as a roadmap for how they intend to reach their emissions goals. They could (and probably will) also start utilizing renewable power sources.
Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s top official, said that the final rule set “fair, consistent standards across the country”. Commission staff are working to understand the rule and its implications, but the commission’s regulatory role for the Clean Power Plan will be limited to approving compliance costs passed on to customers from the utilities it oversees.
Morrisey wants to ensure “that no more taxpayer money or resources are wastefully spent” in attempting to comply with these “unlawful” regulations, which “we believe will ultimately be thrown out in court”.
“Everything hurts”, said Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities Inc.in New York.
The judges who considered the previous challenge from the Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. and more than a dozen states were Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Griffith and Karen Henderson.
The final version of the plan was announced by President Barack Obama on August 3, but research from the Union of Concerned Scientists released this week identifies Minnesota as being one of only 16 states that will not only meet their emission targets by 2030, but exceed them.
The state is already on pace to shed some 30 million tons of total carbon emissions by 2020, through power plant conversions and closures, EPA says, though the agency has declined requests from the newspaper to detail its assumptions and explain its math.
If the rule goes forward it will decimate the coal industry, which is now the leading carbon emitting fuel source.
A group of fifteen states urged a federal court on Thursday to stay the administration’s landmark emission rule for power plants, which are at the center of the president’s agenda to combat global warming.
“We think it’s going to be a tremendous amount of work for no substantial environmental benefit”, she said. The agency gave no timeframe for publishing the rules.
The agency will fight the states’ lawsuit, said EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia. The EPA also proposed a federal plan and model rule to assist states with implementing these new standards. The so-called Clean Power Plan is poised to dramatically increase electricity costs in Wisconsin while doing little to nothing to actually reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. While the court didn’t reject the rule outright, it remanded the matter to a lower court for rehearing on the financial impact to determine next steps. Expanding tar sands oil production in Canada has sent emissions soaring while U.S. emissions have declined in the last several years. That’s true. But will such a market allow coal plants to persist in the region, reintroduce coal power into California markets and open the door to polluting natural gas generation?
Retiring the use of coal helps protect public health from air pollution and addresses the main driver of carbon pollution in the country. Alpha filed for bankruptcy after losing nearly all of its value since 2011. “It’s causing coal companies to have financial troubles…It’s more about controlling people than the environment”, Rep. Roy Edwards, R-Campbell, said.