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AG Schmidt: U.S. Supreme Court blocks federal energy regulation

Release Date: Feb 09, 2016

TOPEKA – (February 9, 2016) – The U.S. Supreme Court today granted a request by Kansas and other states to block a new sweeping Obama administration power plant regulation while the states contest its legality, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced.

The Supreme Court’s order prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing the so-called “111(d)” regulation, also known as the “Clean Power Plan,” while the states’ legal challenge to the agency’s authority is resolved by the courts. The order blocking the new regulation was entered on a 5 to 4 vote of the full Supreme Court.

“Kansas electricity ratepayers can breathe a sigh of relief at today’s action by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Schmidt said. “The federal administration’s brazen attempt to force these illegal regulations beyond the point of no return before the courts could review them has failed. This unprecedented power grab that would transform the Clean Air Act into a vehicle for centralized economic planning now cannot proceed without judicial review.”

In October, Kansas and 23 other states filed the first federal lawsuit by states challenging the new regulations in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court refused to block the regulations while the litigation proceeds, and the states then sought protection from the immediate effects of the rule from the Supreme Court. Today’s order from the Supreme Court overrides the appeals court and blocks the regulation.

Schmidt noted this is the third major initiative by the Obama administration that currently is blocked by federal court order at the request of Kansas and other states. In addition to today’s order blocking the new power plant regulation, federal court orders also have temporarily put on hold the administration’s new “Waters of the U.S.” rule and the President’s so-called “executive action” related to immigration. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the immigration case later this spring.

“Never before in the history of our republic have states so successfully banded together to persuade federal courts to block so many initiatives sought by the President of the United States,” Schmidt said. “This is a reaffirmation that in this country, everybody – even the highest federal officials – must abide by the rule of law.”

The case is West Virginia, et. al. v. EPA, et. al. A copy of today’s order is http://1.usa.gov/20U86IY.

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