TOPEKA – (August 6, 2015) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday asked the Environmental Protection Agency to delay implementation of its new power plant regulations, avoiding the need to seek a court-ordered delay.
A bipartisan group of 16 state attorneys general asked the EPA to give the courts sufficient time to review these new rules before forcing the states to implement new costly regulations.
“Absent an immediate stay, the Section 111 (d) Rule will coerce the States to expend enormous public resources and to put aside sovereign priorities to prepare State Plans of unprecedented scope and complexity,” the attorneys general wrote. “In addition, the States' citizens will be forced to pay higher energy bills as power plants shut down. In the end, the courts are likely to conclude that the Section 111 (d) Rule is unlawful. At the very minimum, the States and their citizens should not be forced to suffer these serious harms until the courts have had an opportunity to review the Rule's legality.”
The same group of state attorneys general previously filed a legal challenge to issuance of the new regulation, but a federal court concluded the challenge was premature because at that time the rule was not final. Now that the rule is final, Schmidt said delaying its implementation is critical to allowing the courts sufficient time to review its legality.
Schmidt said he will continue to protect Kansas’ interests against this sweeping claim of power by a federal regulatory agency.
“The EPA ignored Kansas’ concerns about this rule that were submitted during the formal comment period,” Schmidt said. “Masked within the regulation’s mind-numbing tedium is the reality that this new regulation will ultimately cost Kansas consumers and ratepayers enormous sums of money and should not be implemented without proper judicial review to determine whether the people’s elected representatives in Congress actually gave EPA the authority it now claims. This new rule appears to have less to do with ‘clean power’ than with centralized economic planning in the energy sector of our economy.”
The states asked the EPA to respond to their request by Friday, August 7. A copy of the letter can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1M8hQcw .