WASHINGTON, D.C. -- West Virginia, 24 other states and Guam have filed an amicus brief urging the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the implementation of new emissions regulations.

The amicus brief urges the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to delay the regulations to protect and preserve jobs and affordable electricity rates.

"The EPA continues to issue job-killing regulations that harm our economy," Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said. "I am proud to stand with other state attorneys general to push back against the continued onslaught of burdensome new federal rules and regulations flowing from Washington, D.C."

The EPA's proposed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule would create a new federal regulation to address the emissions of hazardous air pollutants from oil-fired and coal power plants. The proposed rule may require the installation of new control technologies to meet the limits mandated by the EPA and power plants unable to meet the new limits may be forced to shut down.

The brief, filed Oct. 10 in the case American Nurses Association, et al. vs. Lisa P. Jackson, and Administrator of The United States Environmental Protection Agency, requests that the court postpone the implementation of the Utility MACT rule by one year to Nov. 16, 2012. The extension would give the EPA additional time to respond to the states' concerns, fix potential technical flaws and undergo a further review of the economic ramifications of the regulation.

"(The) EPA is insisting on rushing ahead with a rule that will have a far-reaching impact, without adequately considering the serious concerns and questions raised by states and other interested parties in the rulemaking process," the brief says. "Most notably, the rule under consideration has the potential to undermine significantly the reliability of our nation's electrical supply and significantly increase the cost of electricity to the consumer."

In addition to West Virginia, the states filing the amicus brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming, as well as the Territory of Guam.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he's glad to join the fight against the EPA.

"West Virginians, and all Americans, need reliable and cost efficient energy in a healthy environment," Tomblin said. "I fully support West Virginia joining the amicus brief filed earlier this week, which seeks to extend the review timeframe by one year.

"This adjustment is clearly needed for the EPA's timeframe to review over 20,000 public comments submitted in response to its proposed rulemaking. This extended review period is clearly needed for the EPA to more appropriately respond to the needs of the states and realize the economic impact this burdensome regulation will have on the nation."

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