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Steve.Deserved.Better

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Attorney General DeWine Files Challenge to Clean Power Plan


October 23, 2015 - 7:06 PM


COLUMBUS—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with attorneys general and regulators from 23 other states, today filed a legal challenge to the sweeping “Power Plan” rule imposed by the Obama Administration. The rule, announced earlier in 2015 but finally published in the Federal Register this morning, was promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


“The so-called ‘Power Plan’ hits Ohio hard. It will dramatically increase Ohioans’ electric rates while at the same time offering less reliable service and few tangible environmental benefits,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Once again, the Obama Administration has imposed another rule that vastly oversteps the authority granted by law. I have filed legal challenges to such rules in the past, and I believe today’s challenge of this illegal rule will also succeed against this power grab.”

The rule purports to require states to reorganize their energy economies in order to reduce carbon emissions from electricity-generating plants. Ohioans will be required to slash their consumption of electricity from these sources by 37 percent below 2005 levels over the next 15 years. The rule is estimated to cost over $25 billion annually, and these costs will ultimately be paid by consumers.

The rule will also disproportionately affect coal power producers, likely causing job losses in the coal industry. 

Currently, Ohio families and businesses get well over half of their electricity from coal.

States have argued to the EPA for more than a year that the rule is illegal for multiple reasons.  In particular, the EPA lacks authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to force States to fundamentally restructure their electric grids by requiring them to use less coal-fired energy and build costly and less reliable wind and solar facilities.  As a result, the rule effectively requires a “cap-and-trade” system without statutory authority and that had been specifically rejected by a Democratically-controlled Congress.  The rule is also illegal because it seeks to require States to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act even though the EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the Act. Double regulation is prohibited by the Clean Air Act.

In addition to Ohio, the states challenging the rule include Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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