New York’s attorney general “wants to force other States to adopt the energy policies that are one of the big reasons New York is an economic basket case.” Myron Ebell, director for the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute comments here on Eric Schneiderman’s decision to file a motion to intervene in a 12-state court challenge to a 2011 settlement agreement made between the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups that would force states to regulate carbon emission from coal-fired plants within their jurisdictions.
Eleven other state attorneys general joined him in the motion.
Earlier this year, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, along with AGs from 11 other coal-reliant states sued the EPA over the settlement. Morrisey argued the rules change would have “devastating effects on West Virginia’s jobs and its economy.”
Schneiderman’s motion disputes Morrisey’s claims and asks that the implementation of the EPA rules not be delayed.
“From extreme droughts to extreme storms, we’re already seeing impacts associated with uncontrolled climate change across the country – and we must rise to meet its challenge with all the urgency it demands,” Schneiderman maintains.
Morrisey and other opponents to the new EPA regulations contend that while states may have differing opinions on federal policy, the rule of law should prevail.
Reporting on the legal arguments, the Los Angeles Times explains:
The plaintiffs said the EPA entered into a settlement agreement in 2011 with environmental groups and states allied with them to regulate existing coal-fired utilities under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. That section is the basis for the rules the Obama administration proposed in June.
The plaintiffs argue the settlement and subsequent regulations are illegal because power plant emissions are regulated under a different part of the Clean Air Act.
“We recognize that states may have different policy goals regarding the emission of carbon dioxide, but hopefully every state can agree that regulations should only be issued in a lawful manner,” Morrisey said in an e-mail statement issued yesterday. “We believe that the proposed carbon dioxide rule is illegal and will ultimately be defeated in the courts.”
He also likens the regulation to a “power grab” in which “affordable electricity prices, American jobs, and maintaining the reliability of our power supply are at stake.”
In response to Schneiderman’s new motion, Morrisey has requested an expedited briefing on his lawsuit.
Whatever happens in the courts, the Empire State’s attorney general can be counted among those willing to surrender efficient – and Constitutional – state governance to federal meddlers.