EPA Sued By Republican Attorneys General To Stop Carbon Rule

by | May 10, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » EPA Sued By Republican Attorneys General To Stop Carbon Rule

In a recent development, the EPA was sued by Republican Attorneys General representing 27 U.S. states. They, along with industry trade groups, have launched a legal challenge against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This will halt a significant carbon emissions rule aimed at existing coal-fired power plants and new natural gas facilities. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

EPA sued by Republican attorneys general

It contests a rule finalized by President Joe Biden’s administration last month as part of a broader strategy to combat climate change. The plaintiffs include 25 states led by West Virginia and Indiana. It also includes separate filings by Ohio, Kansas, and various electric utility, mining, and coal industry associations.

The contentious rule sets forth a requirement for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It demands that many new gas and existing coal plants achieve a 90% reduction in emissions by 2032.

This mandate is anticipated to prompt the U.S. power industry to invest billions of dollars in emissions control technologies. It further considers closing down coal-fired facilities deemed the most polluting.

Critics argue that the EPA’s mandate oversteps its authority under the Clean Air Act. It could significantly reshape the nation’s energy grid without explicit congressional authorization.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey expressed concern that the rule could render existing plants non-compliant. It could even lead to their closure, thereby straining the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Similarly, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO, Jim Matheson, criticized the rule as impractical and unattainable. The litigation follows a separate challenge by 23 Republican attorneys general against another EPA rule. It targets mercury and other hazardous emissions from power plants.

Central to the legal debate is the feasibility of the EPA’s proposed emissions reduction strategies. It relies heavily on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. The EPA contends that CCS is both viable and cost-effective for power plants.

However, opponents argue that widespread deployment remains impractical. Jeff Holmstead, a lawyer and former EPA official, suggested that the agency’s approach may be overly optimistic.

He anticipated that the Supreme Court could scrutinize the EPA’s interpretation of “adequately demonstrated” technologies under the Clean Air Act. Supporters of the rule point to recent funding initiatives.

They argue that the Clean Air Act is designed to drive technological innovation. Jay Duffy, a lawyer specializing in environmental law, emphasized that the law was crafted to promote the deployment of emerging technologies like CCS.

The legal challenge underscores broader divisions over environmental policy. It highlights significant implications for the future of carbon emissions regulations in the U.S.

The outcome of these lawsuits will likely shape the Biden administration’s climate agenda. It’ll also determine the extent of federal authority in curbing greenhouse gas pollution from the power sector.

The EPA has declined to comment on the pending litigation. This signals a protracted legal battle over the scope of regulatory authority. It also shows the feasibility of emissions reduction targets in the energy industry.

With the EPA sued by Republican Attorneys General, legal proceedings are getting unfolded. The stakeholders across the energy sector and environmental advocacy groups are closely monitoring developments that could have far-reaching consequences. It could have consequences for the nation’s approach to addressing climate change through regulatory action.

Also Read: State Lawmakers To Ban Balloon Release In Florida Ahead Of Marine Pollution

Author

  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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