The impacts of EPA's plans are wide-reaching and can be a hardship for many people. These rules are the equivalent of heavy taxes on every property owner (and renter) and every person who uses electricity and heats their home. Even though people will be cold and broke, they should feel proud that they are doing something noble for the common good.
After all, it's for the planet!
(Is there enough wind and sun to power the planet's needs?)
Below are excerpts from articles in the US News and The Wall Street Journal.
US News, October 24, 2015 By Michael Biesecker AP
States and industry groups reliant on fossil fuelschallengeObama's Cean Power Plan in Court
"The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in this nation's history," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, among those leading the challenges. "I have a responsibility to protect the lives of millions of working families, the elderly and the poor, from such illegal and unconscionable federal government actions."
The Obama administration and environmental groups counter that the rules are needed to cut carbon emissions while curbing the worst impacts of climate change and sea-level rise. They also say the plan will spur new clean-energy jobs.
The EPA says it has authority to enact the plan under the Clean Air Act. At issue are dueling provisions added to the law by the House and Senate in 1990. The EPA's interpretation relies on the Senate language, but opponents argue that the House version should win out.
EPA already regulates other powerplant pollutants under a different section of the Clean Air Act, and the opponents claim the law prohibits "double regulation."
The states challenging the plan in court are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming and Wisconsin.
Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2015 By Amy Harder and Brent Kendall
States Sue Over EPA Clean Power Rules
Challengers are expected to focus on whether the EPA exceeded its powers by pushing utilitiesto shift to cleaner forms of energy
WASHINGTON—What could be a yearslong legal and political battle over the Obama administration’s main climate change initiative formally kicked off Friday, with two dozen states filing a lawsuit against regulations aimed at cutting U.S. carbon emissions.
The states sued in a federal court here to challenge the rules, which seek to reduce carbon output from hundreds of power plants across the nation. Congressional Republicans also said Friday they would introduce measures in the coming week seeking to block the rules.
In the works since 2013 and issued in early August, the regulations require a 32% cut in powerplant carbon emissions by 2030 based on emissions levels of 2005. They are designed to force the utility industry, the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, to shift toward cleaner-burning energy sources over the next several decades.
The EPA is relying upon a seldom-used section of the Clean Air Act called 111(d) as its authority for the rules, which leaves an opening for legal scrutiny. Challengers are expeced to focus on whether the agency exceeded its powers by pushing utilities to shift to cleaner forms of energy instead of just focusing on pollution controls at fossil-fuel-fired power plants.
Senior EPA officials say they are confident the rules, known as the Clean Power Plan, are legally sound.
“The Clean Power Plan has strong scientific and legal foundations, provides states with broad flexibilities to design and implement plans, and is clearly within EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Friday.
The state coalition’s lawsuit against the EPA was filed Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit, a powerful federal court that regularly reviews the legality of government regulations.
Many of the states and politicians leading the legal and political challenges, including West Virginia and Kentucky, depend heavily on coal for their economies and electricity. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the EPA rule was illegal and “one of the most aggressive executive-branch power grabs we’ve seen in a long time.”