W.Va., other AGs want to intervene in federal oil, natural gas rule case

By Chris Dickerson | Jun 15, 2017

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a coalition that has filed a motion to intervene in a case that seeks to prevent the federal government from halting its unlawful oil and natural gas rule.

Morrisey led an 11-state group supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s right to delay implementation of its own rule to review and reconsider the regulation. In this instance, the AGs say moving forward would impose unnecessary and onerous mandates on oil and natural gas producers under a rule that the EPA may ultimately decide to revoke or revise.

“I applaud President Trump’s EPA for reviewing this burdensome rule and support the agency’s effort to delay implementation until the review is complete,” Morrisey said of the June 15 filing. “Regulations such as this one hurt hard-working families by killing natural gas production, an activity that provides thousands of jobs within our state.”

The coalition wants to intervene so the EPA has authority to reconsider and administratively stay rules that directly affect states. This includes its ability to prevent unlawful and harmful regulations from taking effect during a review.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in May postponed any final decision regarding the legality of the rule in question, while the EPA and others involved determine the next steps.

West Virginia led a separate coalition of states and state agencies challenging the oil and natural gas rule in August 2016. The coalition argued the regulation imposes unnecessary and burdensome rules upon oil and gas producers. They also argued that the regulation could set existing oil and natural gas operations up for further limitations. 

Morrisey's group says imposing unnecessary and costly regulations would jeopardize thousands of natural gas, pipeline and construction jobs.

Morrisey filed the June 15 motion to intervene with AGs from Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin, along with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

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Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Virginia Attorney General's Office

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