TOPEKA – (March 30, 2011) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday asked the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to delay implementation of new federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Schmidt joined with 20 other state attorneys general in a letter to Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting the federal agency delay implementation of the new rules by three years to give Congress an opportunity to fully review them. The rules, established by EPA under its regulatory authority, began taking effect in January.
“Whatever may be the long-term merit of your agency’s regulatory approach…there can be no doubt that the immediate consequences will be to make economic recovery more difficult,” the attorneys general wrote. “Deferral would help facilitate such recovery, and it would allow time for a study of the long-term impact of GHG regulations on jobs and the economy.”
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that EPA has discretionary authority under the federal Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The federal agency has begun exercising that discretion and is moving forward with the new regulatory system. Several states have brought legal challenges to the new regulations, and those lawsuits are pending.
Earlier this year, Schmidt joined Kansas to a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject efforts to further expand the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through common nuisance lawsuits. He noted at the time that Kansas, with an economy that relies heavily on energy, has a strong stake in the national and international debate on responses to climate change.
“The same principle applies to this bureaucratic action as to the separate attempt to regulate by litigation,” Schmidt said. “This is a major shift in public policy that requires a balancing of environmental, social and economic interests. The people’s elected representatives in Congress should be at the center of this debate, not relegated to the sidelines.”