Tomblin, Rockefeller praise rejection of EPA rule



WASHINGTON -– Two West Virginia Democrats have joined national politicians from both parties praising the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for overturning the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a statement that he "applauded" the D.C. Circuit Court for vacating the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This ruling is the second time in less than a month a court said the EPA acted outside its authority.

"For the fourth time, a federal judge ruled against the EPA for the exact same thing: overstepping its authority and trampling on states' authority," Tomblin said. "It's time for Washington to stop trying to tell us how to run our coal mines.

"The policies the EPA is trying to push on our state are anti-coal and anti-West Virginia. The record is clear; the EPA is 0-4 in its war on coal. I'm asking President Obama to reign in his EPA and end this war. Enough is enough-the EPA has been told time and time again that it is acting outside its authority."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller also issued a statement in which he said, "The EPA, like all government agencies, must make sure that its rulemakings fully comply with the law. EPA is required to issue a rule that implements the Good Neighbor provision of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to protect downwind states from pollution blown in from other states and protect public health, but must do so without overreaching its authority."

While papers such as the Los Angeles Times noted that the judges overturning the rule were Bush appointees, they neglected to note that Democratic Party leaders also were pleased with the ruling and that at least one Obama-appointed judge also has overturned an EPA rule.

Tuesday's 2-1 vote by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was a blow to the EPA's effort to limit soot- and smog-forming air pollution that blows across state lines.

The court said the EPA's rule targeting emissions from coal-fired power plants "exceeds the agency's statutory authority" by requiring some states to clean up more than their fair share of pollution. It also vacates a rule that would have required plants to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.

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