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March 15, 2015

Growing Sentiment In U.S. States Against EPA Power Plant Rules

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues work to finalize its proposed rules governing emissions from new and existing power plants, there is growing opposition among lawmakers at the state level against the rules. For example:

  • The director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Todd Parfitt, and Thomas Easterly, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, testified last week in Washington, DC against the rules;
  • Lawmakers in at least four states have introduced legislation that would prevent their respective states from making appropriations to implement the rules;
  • Candidates seeking the governor’s mansion in Kentucky said they don’t believe their state should comply with the rules;
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is considering a lawsuit challenging the rules; and
  • Arkansas joined 12 other states that have already launched a lawsuit to stop the rules. 

As a reminder, a study by NERA Economic Consulting found the EPA’s proposed rule for existing power plants alone could result in double-digit electricity price increases in 43 states.  The EPA continues to work on this rule even though last fall White House science adviser John Holdren told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the draft rule concerning emissions from existing power plants would “make only a modest dent in global greenhouse-gas emissions.”