CHARLESTON — Oral arguments in West Virginia's federal case against the U.S. EPA are scheduled for Thursday.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will present oral arguments in the case of State of West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Actually, the court will hear arguments on two separate but related lawsuits against the EPA in the wake of last June’s proposed rule requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 30 percent in 15 years. West Virginia led a bipartisan group of states in one lawsuit and is an intervenor in the other lawsuit.
“In situations like this, bold action must be taken to protect the greater interests of states and their citizens,” Morrisey said in a press release. “I won’t hesitate to fight for the rule of law and try to rein in an out of control EPA.”
In the West Virginia lawsuit, the state argues the proposed regulations are illegal because the EPA seek to require states to regulate coal-fired power plants even though EPA already regulates those same plants under the hazardous air pollutant program. Amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 expressly prohibited such double regulation.
Morrisey said West Virginia and other states believe the EPA is pushing these illegal and onerous regulations in an attempt to make it economically impossible for the nation to continue to burn coal. West Virginia currently ranks second among the states in coal production.
“An agency should not be permitted to threaten to impose a rule that it knows will never survive judicial review, in order to scare utilities, power plants, and coal mines into closing their doors in anticipation of the rule being finalized," Morrisey said. "It is an abuse of power that directly harms West Virginia and other coal-producing and coal-burning states."
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Organizations in this Story
State of West Virginia
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)