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May 11, 2015

States Continue To Mobilize Against EPA Power Plant Rule

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton last week announced that he intends to launch a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to regulate emissions from existing power plants. In a statement, Paxton said, “The Obama Administration’s Carbon Rule would result in higher electricity costs and less reliability for Texans, all while doing little to nothing to affect the environment.” 

General Paxton’s challenge is only the latest in a long line of efforts by U.S. states to push back against the EPA’s rule, which is expected to be released this summer, and another that would regulate emissions from new power plants. The Kansas statehouse last week also advanced efforts to address the existing power plant rule. A bill passed by the House requires that state legislators have a say in how the state complies with the rule. 

Meanwhile, in Washington, DC last week, Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) announced she will introduce legislation in the Senate that could give states a pathway for opting out of the EPA rule. (The U.S. House is expected to consider a similar bill within the next several weeks.) Sen. Capito’s announcement came after West Virginia’s attorney general spoke out against the rule at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing last week. 

Also last week: the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the American Public Power Association requested that the EPA examine how the rule will impact small businesses.