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March 29, 2015

One More State Enters Challenge To EPA Power Plant Rule

According to Politico Pro (subscription required), Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asked the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow his state to join a case challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants. If the court grants the request, Wisconsin would be the 14th state challenging the rule. 

Schimel argued the proposed rule, which, according to Politico Pro, would ask Wisconsin to reduce power plants carbon output 34 percent by 2030, would “have a detrimental impact on our economy, particularly because of Wisconsin's large manufacturing sector.” 

One reason the states oppose the rule: the belief that it would destroy the U.S.’s coal industry. Indeed, these companies are already struggling. According to The Economist, in the U.S. “24 coal companies have gone bust in the past three years, and one-sixth of the remaining capacity loses money.” 

These closures would have a significant impact on American energy consumers. A study by NERA Economic Consulting released last fall found the proposed EPA rule for existing power plants “could cost at least $366 billion and that residents in 43 states would see double-digit percentage increases on average in their electricity bills over the 15-year period from 2017 to 2031.”