WASHINGTON – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a motion this week by the State of Arkansas to join a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over carbon emissions.

Arkansas joins West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming and Kentucky in the federal lawsuit.

"We welcome the State of Arkansas and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to this lawsuit which seeks to halt illegal and onerous regulations proposed by the EPA as soon as possible," said Beth Ryan, spokeswoman for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. "We look forward to oral arguments in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 16, and are pleased that this case has bipartisan support from a number of states."

The lawsuit targets the EPA's proposed 111(d) rule seeking to lower emissions from electric generating units. Rutledge called the rule “overreaching” and said she would fight against “heavy-handed regulations that go beyond the scope of the law.”

“As I pointed out in my testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior on Feb. 26, the 111(d) rule from the EPA mandates the standards that Arkansas must achieve, rather than providing guidelines for Arkansas to use in its efforts to reduce carbon pollution,” Rutledge said. “This rule goes beyond the EPA’s authority granted by Congress and seeks to impose a national energy policy that will harm Arkansas’ economy.”

The proposal mandates that emissions fall by 41 percent in the interim and 44 percent as final requirements. In her motion, Rutledge said the proposal would mean Arkansas would need to meet the sixth-most strict obligation of all states, even though the state ranks 46th in the nation in per-capita income. The rule would negatively affect future economic development, the industry and electric rates in the state, she said.

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