The coalition, which includes states such as Wyoming, West Virginia, Ohio and Texas, along with the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, is arguing that the CPP, introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “upends state authority, increases electricity prices and violates numerous aspects of federal law,” according to one of the main motivators in the movement, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey.
“The EPA lacks authority to force such radical change,” he said. “Congress soundly rejected this proposal once, and we urge the EPA to withdraw the rule now as implementation would devastate countless jobs, increase utility costs and jeopardize the nation’s energy grid.”
At the heart of the EPA plan is a reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 32% by 2030 versus 2005 levels, as well as a push for the use of more renewables and less coal.
Murray Energy, which has filed a total of six lawsuits against the EPA related to the CPP, said it was disappointed that an immediate stay was not issued.
“Frankly, our court system is far too slow to assure the checks and balances from the judicial branch over the executive branch that the fathers of our Constitution envisioned, and the Obama administration uses this to the fullest, destroying the jobs and family livelihoods of our coal miners in the process,” company officials said.
Chicago-based nonprofit the Heartland Institute, which oversees the Center on Climate and Environment Policy, concurred.
“If ever a case existed for the courts to intervene with equitable relief — in this case, a stay of the lower court’s ruling — it is here, where the jobs of the people, the nation’s ability to meet its energy needs, and a coherent environmental and energy policy are at stake, and a refusal to grant the stay becomes effectively irreversible. To do otherwise would be a triumph of ideology over economics and of tyranny over democracy — yet another usurpation of the Constitutional order,” the group said.
However, as noted by Michael Nasi, the general counsel for Balanced Energy for Texas, while the decision is disappointing, it is a “procedural decision” and not a reflection on how the courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court, where this case will now be heard — will see the merits of the position the coalition holds.
“We remain confident that the courts will ultimately rule in favor of the 27 states and countless industry groups who have filed more than 15 separate cases against the rules. The Clean Power Plan is an unprecedented overreach of the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act, as noted in the Congressional disapproval of the rule that passed in the House and Senate with strong majorities.”
A copy of the January 25 Court of Appeals document can be seen here.
Morrissey’s recent letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, penned on behalf of the coalition, can be seen here.