Friday, October 23, 2015

EPA publishes Clean Power Plan rules; 24-state coalition immediately files lawsuit

The Environmental Protection Agency published its Clean Power Plan rules today in the Federal Registry, "a much-anticipated milestone because it clears the way for objecting states to file lawsuits aimed at killing the regulation," Elizabeth Harball and Rod Kuckro report for ClimateWire. "Also published in the Federal Register today are the final rule regulating carbon dioxide for new, modified and reconstructed power plants and the proposed federal implementation plan, which would be imposed on states that don't submit a compliance plan to EPA."

"The proposed federal implementation plan will be the subject of four public hearings in November, EPA acting air chief Janet McCabe said," Harball and Kuckro write. "Its publication triggers a 90-day comment period that will end Jan. 21. With the regulation, EPA aims to curb U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030."

"Since the rule was first proposed last year, roughly half of U.S. states have indicated they may sue EPA to fight the regulation once the rule is formally published," Harball and Kuckro write. "Many states have already attempted to challenge the rule, including an effort led by West Virginia in August seeking an emergency stay, but their efforts were rebuffed by the courts. EPA and its supporters, however, have repeatedly insisted that the final rule will withstand legal challenges."

A coalition of 24 states are suing to stop the initiative, while North Dakota and Oklahoma are suing independently, Jesse Paul reports for The Denver Post. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said a "lawsuit to block the plan was filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court as soon as the rules were published." (Advanced Energy Economy graphic)

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