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States fire back at EPA in Supreme Court climate case

States fire back at EPA in Supreme Court climate case

Postby smix » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:03 pm

States fire back at EPA in Supreme Court climate case
Washington Examiner

URL: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/state ... le/2582572
Category: Politics
Published: February 5, 2016

Description: More than two dozen states fired back at the Obama administration Friday in a Supreme Court case that could decide the fate of the president's climate change agenda. The 29 states opposing President Obama's far-reaching climate rules on power plants, called the Clean Power Plan, sent their response to arguments made by the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday for Chief Justice John Roberts not to give in to the states' Jan. 26 motion for the high court to stay the plan. "Left unstayed, the power plan will force massive and irreversible changes in terms of state policies and resources, power plant shutdowns, and investments in wind and solar power," the states wrote in their Friday response. The power plan requires states to reduce emissions a third by 2030. States must begin filing state plans or file for an extension by September. That has states scrambling, even if opposing the climate rules, to put together a plan to avoid the EPA imposing a more expensive federal plan. Friday's filing marks the final response brief and starts the clock on a decision by the high court that experts said could come within a week or two. The states want the court to halt the plan while the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals takes up the merits of their arguments on why the Clean Power Plan should be rescinded, saying it is a gross overeach of the agency's authority. The EPA told the court Thursday that states' arguments weren't adequate enough to grant relief and that the court has a long history of not taking such action. The states also argue that the EPA ignores precedent made by the high court, attempting to show that the adminsitration is going around case law to justify an "illegal rule." It cites last year's Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. EPA, which said the agency could not ignore the cost of compliance in regulations, undermining EPA's defense that it has the discretion to decide on cost and other issues. "EPA also has no answer to the fact that in Michigan, the agency unlawfully extracted billions of dollars in compliance from power plants before this court could even review the rule, and is attempting to do so here again but on a much larger scale," the states argue. "The plan will require states to spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars in the next year designing state plans, while forcing them to change their laws and regulatory approaches," the states add in reinforcing their need for the court to stay the Clean Power Plan. "Indeed, absent a stay, the states will need to approve new sources of energy and other capital investments, which approvals will necessarily include hikes in energy rates for consumers, to defray the cost of power plan-driven projects," the states' reply continues. "Simply put, if a stay is denied, the power plan 'will immediately and significantly impact nearly every regulatory decision affecting the energy industry in' the states."
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