Cities, States and Environmental Groups Side with EPA in Clean Power Plan Fight

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and the other attorneys generals from 28 states have new opposition in their lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection agency’s Clean Power Plan, the one put on hold by the U.S. Supreme court.

A coalition of major investor-owned utilities, public power authorities, cities and states and clean energy groups filed briefs with the D.C. Circuit court of Appeals in support of the EPA. The oral arguments will be heard June 2, 2016.

Among some of the power companies are Southern California Edison Co., Calpine Corp. which has operations in Oklahoma, National Grid Generation, New York Power Authority and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Other groups include Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.

“We are confident the Clean Power Plan will prevail,” said Joanne Spalding, the chief attorney for the Sierra Club. “It uses sanctioned authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon emissions, reinforces prevailing trends in the marketplace and in public opinion, and gives states flexibility to reach their goals.”

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have joined the support for the EPA along with five cities and the second most populous county in Florida.

“The Clean Power Plan is a reasonable and legitimate exercise of EPA’s authority to limit harmful carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants,” contended the states.

Others are joining the support including the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and a coalition of 54 local governments urging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases emitted from existing power plants.