Attorney General Chris Carr, 24-State Coalition Set Forth Steps For Power Plan’s Withdrawal

December 15, 2016

ATLANTA, GA – Yesterday, Attorney General Chris Carr joined a 24-state coalition urging President-elect Donald Trump and congressional leaders to withdraw President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan and take the necessary steps to ensure similar or more extreme proposals never again take shape.

The bipartisan letter – addressed Wednesday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – suggests a four-point strategy that begins with President-elect Trump rescinding his predecessor’s Climate Action Plan on day one.

“The Georgia Department of Law has a shared concern that this Rule is unlawful under the Clean Air Act, unconstitutional and intrusive on policy issues that traditionally lie with the States,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We will continue working with our partners nationwide to present coordinated and thoughtful strategies to peel back the layers of the Obama Administration’s unlawful overreach.” 

The coalition suggests President-elect Trump follow with formal administrative action to withdraw the Power Plan and related matters in court. Such action will properly effectuate the rule’s withdrawal, while negotiating an end to pending litigation.

Finally, the coalition recommends Congress take longer-term legislative action. The proposed legislative fix aims to prevent any future U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from drafting similarly unlawful and/or more extreme rules. The coalition suggests the new White House work with Congress to adopt such legislation.

West Virginia and Texas led a 27-state coalition challenging the EPA’s Power Plan on Oct. 23, 2015, the very day it was published. That coalition then halted the rule’s enforcement by winning an unprecedented and historic stay of the regulation Feb. 9, 2016, before the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
The legal challenge argues the Power Plan exceeded EPA’s congressional authority by transforming the nation’s energy industry, double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.
 
Furthermore, it argues the Power Plan violates the U.S. Constitution by attempting to commandeer and coerce the states into carrying out federal energy policy.

Those challenging the regulation in West Virginia v. EPA await a final ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court heard oral arguments Sept. 27, 2016.

West Virginia and Texas signed this week’s letter with Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with the Mississippi and North Carolina Departments of Environmental Quality.

Read a copy of the letter here.