February 29, 2016

More Than 200 Members Of Congress Agree With MSCI: On Clean Power Plan, EPA Overstepped Authority

Last Tuesday, 34 senators and 171 representatives filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) and arguing the EPA did not have authority under the Clean Air Act to promulgate the rule, which restricts emissions from existing U.S. power plants. 

That argument is the same one MSCI allies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), have made to the court. (MSCI supports the U.S. Chamber and NAM’s lawsuit. Learn more about that legal challenge here.) 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) both signed the brief in which lawmakers argued, “If Congress [had] desired to give EPA sweeping authority to transform the nation's electricity sector, Congress would have provided for that unprecedented power in detailed legislation.” As a reminder, earlier this month, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the rule while legal challenges to it move forward. 

Also last week: the state of Nevada joined the lawsuit against the CPP. According to Politico, the state was one of just five states that until had not yet taken a side in the legal fight and, with Nevada, there are now 28 states challenging the regulation. (Click here to see which states are challenging the rule.) In its petition to the Supreme Court, Politico said Nevada officials argued their state faces two types of harm stemming from the CPP: 1) that the rule will open the door to even stricter regulations that would more directly target Nevada, and 2) that it “could cause a downturn in the national economy that would hurt the state's tourism industry.” 

According to economic analysis by NERA, the rule would increase energy prices in 47 states. Click here to learn more about that impact. 

Trade associations from several different states also argued last week that the CPP would harm businesses in their state.