FRANKFORT – Attorney General Jack Conway joined West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and 14 other states asking a court to issue an emergency stay that would postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan while the plan’s legality is determined by the courts.
The petition was filed Thursday afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Attorneys General from the states of West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out,” Attorney General Conway said. “With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for Kentucky. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to Kentucky and other states under the U.S. Constitution. I am confident the courts will again rule that the EPA has overstepped its authority.”
Typically, a stay of a federal rule would not be sought until the lawsuit challenging it is filed, which would usually occur once the rule is published in the Federal Register. In most cases, the obligations imposed by a new rule are tied to the date of publication.
However, in this case, the Attorneys General argue, the EPA has made the unusual choice to make the states’ obligations effective immediately. Regardless of the date of formal publication, the states already have firm deadlines to submit initial and final compliance plans under the rule. Because it could be months before the 1,560-page rule is published, the Attorneys General believe court precedent makes clear that a request for a stay at this time is appropriate in order to prevent states from having to expend significant taxpayer resources to begin complying with the rule.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Conway and a 16-state coalition asked the EPA for an administrative stay of the Clean Power Plan while its legality was reviewed by the courts. The EPA responded saying it would take the request “under consideration,” but the agency has yet to act on that request. To ensure the least amount of harm to states and their resources, Attorney General Conway and the current coalition are asking for the court to rule on this emergency stay request by Sept. 8 – approximately one year before states’ initial compliance plans are due.
A copy of the petition for a stay can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/mwYYy4