Oklahoma, Other States Turn to Supreme Court for Stay of EPA Clean Power Plan

A coalition of Attorneys General is pleading that the Supreme Court put a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Oklahoma has joined West Virginia, Texas and several other states in a lawsuit to stop the implementation of the EPA’s new rules. A lower court ruled against a stay, so the AGs are seeking relief with the higher court. The filed the request with the High Court on Tuesday.

The argument goes something like this, because the changes to electric power generation the EPA is mandating are so severe, the change would dramatically impact the way the American economy works. If the Supreme Court doesn’t at least temporarily keep the rules from being implemented, compliance could increase costs to rate payers, state regulators, and the electric utilities and generation companies.

The rule is called the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources; Electric Utility Generating Units. The regulation calls for electric generation companies to move away from fossil-fuels, mostly coal, as a source of generation to help reduce carbon emissions. The Attorneys General filing argues that the EPA previously issued rules which caused damage while they were being challenged in court. They are asking for the Supreme Court’s stay to prevent any possible “damage” from being done while the challenge to the Clean Power Plan makes its way through the courts.

The D.C. Federal Court is handling the lawsuit, West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are leading the coalition for the states. The lawsuit was filed on October 23, 2015, the day the EPA’s rule was published in the Federal Register.

“The Obama Administration has exceeded its authority in imposing a plan that will kill jobs and significantly raise electric bills for all Americans,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This power grab will force a massive reordering of nearly every state’s electric grid and result in less-reliable service for all customers. Such far-reaching actions raise serious concerns about the power of the federal government.”

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality also is participating in the federal lawsuit.


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