Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined two comment letters from the States of Ohio and West Virginia opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rulemaking called “New Source Performance Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units; Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units; and Repeal of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule.” The letters were addressed to the Administrator of the EPA, Michael S. Regan.
The EPA’s Proposed Rule targets coal and natural gas plants by using the Clean Air Act to mandate new environmental standards that the federal and state governments are supposed to work together on. If enacted, this rule would impose new requirements that, according to the West Virginia letter, would “force plants to close and compel a switch to lower-emitting fuel sources such as wind and solar.” The States argue that this is an obvious attempt to avoid the consequences of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA, where the Court ruled that EPA could not, without clear congressional authority, adopt “expansive regulations” under the Clean Air Act to require existing power plants to shift their methods of power generation.
As the States write in the Ohio letter, “the EPA lacks authority to order such a vast restructuring of the nation’s mix of energy generation. The Proposed Rule will touch all aspects of American life. It will cost tens of billions of dollars; eliminate thousands of jobs at hundreds of power plants and related industries; affect the reliability of the power grid; and alter energy prices for millions of commercial and residential consumers. Our Constitution leaves decisions like this—decisions of ‘vast economic and political significance’—to Congress. At the very least, no agency can make such decisions without clear authorization from Congress.”
Joining Utah on the Ohio comment letter were the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
Joining Utah on the West Virginia comment letter were the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.
Read the letters: