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Governor Leads Wyoming into Challenge of EPA Rule on Power Plants

posted Apr 27, 2015, 7:00 AM by   [ updated Apr 27, 2015, 7:00 AM ]

State Capitol
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Ph. (307) 777-7437

August 1, 2014


Renny MacKay
Communications Director

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead continues to fight U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach. Today, Wyoming joined 11 other states in opposing an EPA regulation to further limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal power plants. The lawsuit challenges an EPA settlement agreement that purports to allow the EPA to over-regulate coal and is unlawful under the Clean Air Act.

Wyoming is also actively putting together an analysis on the proposed rule for existing power plants as part of the public comment period.

“We will use many different tactics to fight this rule. It is an overreach and is harmful to the economy of the entire country and in particular to Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “We need affordable energy and a clean environment. We can have both, but this is not how we get there. This rule goes too far.

“The EPA bases its proposed rule on a 105-page legal document that grossly misinterprets the plain language of the Clean Air Act,” said Governor Mead. “Court precedent and the Clean Air Act are clear that if the EPA is already regulating coal plants under one section of the Act, it cannot regulate them under another section. When Congress wrote this language, they did it knowing that coal plants should not be regulated twice.”

Wyoming is part of another lawsuit challenging the EPA’s proposed rule regulating existing power plants. Wyoming and eight other states joined a suit lead by Murray Energy.

“Shutting down coal-fired power plants hurts the economy. We are aggressively opposing this proposal,” Governor Mead said. “I want the rule withdrawn or amended to encourage innovation rather than stifling an industry.”

In a U.S. Supreme Court opinion issued in 2011, the Court stated, “EPA may not employ [Section 111(d)] if existing stationary sources of the pollutant in question are regulated under…the ‘hazardous air pollutants’ program.” In early 2013, the EPA finalized their Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which regulates coal plants under Section 112 of the Act. Even though the Act prohibits additional regulation under Section 111(d), the EPA still published its proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants under Section 111(d) of the Act. This action violates the Act and court precedent. Wyoming and the other states are asking the court to halt EPA’s action.