Oklahoma and Other States Want EPA to Start from Scratch on Suspended Mercury Rule

Oklahoma and 19 other states now want the U.S. Supreme Court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to start all over on a new mercury rule that resulted in last summer’s 5-4 ruling where the high court ruled the EPA failed to consider costs at an early stage. In the ruling, the Court did not throw out the rule but put it on hold, however, Oklahoma and the other states contend that since the EPA rule is unlawful, the agency should be forced to start from the beginning.

Observers don’t think the states will be successful since the Federal Appeals court, including Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, upheld the mercury rule twice, stating in December that the EPA did not have to begin on drawing up a new rule.

Last month, the 20 states asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to stay the Obama administration rule that cuts the mercury emissions of power plants. Known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or MATS, the rule has been challenged by Oklahoma as well as Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The states contend in their latest request that “even more warranted here, after this Court has reviewed EPA’s finding authorizing the Mercury Rule and has found it to be unlawful and in excess of EPA’s authority under that same Act.” Their petition also said, “Because this court’s ruling means that EPA never acquired authority to impose this rule, this court should stay the unauthorized rule” pending the latest petition.


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