TOPEKA – (November 24, 2014) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today filed a formal objection to proposed new EPA regulations for carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.
The new federal rules attempt to use the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy far beyond anything authorized by Congress, Schmidt said. If implemented, the new rules would significantly drive up electricity rates for Kansas consumers.
Schmidt and 16 other state attorneys general submitted a joint comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifying numerous legal defects in the proposed rule, each of which provides an independent basis to invalidate the rule in its entirety. The proposal forces states to conform their energy policies with national priorities established by EPA.
“Rather than limiting itself to EPA’s narrow mandate of air pollution control, the proposed rule forces states to abandon their sovereign rights in favor of a national energy consumption policy,” Schmidt and the other attorneys general wrote. “This attempt to federalize areas of energy policy improperly proposes to negate states’ authority to determine that EPA’s guidelines are inconsistent with factors such as consideration of costs, physical impossibility, energy needs, and the ‘remaining useful life of the existing source’.”
Separate from these comments filed with the agency today, Schmidt has joined with 11 other states in filing a lawsuit to block the new rules before they go into force. That lawsuit is pending in the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
A decision on whether to finalize, modify or revoke the proposed rule is not expected from EPA until 2015. Additional objections to the proposed rule have been filed by the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.