Today (Oct. 23) the Environmental Protection Agency published President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register making its rules to reduce carbon emissions effective. The plan has its supporters—among them clean energy organizations—and its detractors like coal companies and conservative states.
The Attorneys General of 24 states filed a lawsuit against the new EPA rules led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. "The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in this nation's history,” he said. “West Virginia is proud to be leading the charge against this Administration’s blatant and unprecedented attack on coal.” The state is the second-largest producer of coal in the U.S. behind Wyoming. Jobs in coal mining have waned as natural gas prices and renewable energy prices have come down.
Still states are not happy about it. For instance, even though Michigan enacted its own Clean Power Plan ahead of the final rules, its conservative leadership signed on to the lawsuit.
“While the rule’s publication marks the beginning of lawsuit season for opponents who seek to deny Americans these important health and economic benefits, the Clean Power Plan has a solid legal foundation that will withstand these legal challenges,” said Center for American Progress Distinguished Senior Fellow Carol Browner.
“The Clean Power Plan will provide significant health and economic benefits to all Americans by reducing dangerous carbon pollution that fuels climate change and by encouraging the development of clean renewable energy,” Browner said. She said it was the most aggressive action the country has taken to combat climate change thus far.
“As a nation, it is time to replace our aging, dirty energy infrastructure with clean, reliable, affordable 21st century energy technologies. Solar energy is the most sensible compliance option for states under the Clean Power Plan,” asserted Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President Rhone Resch. “Solar works in all 50 states, has zero carbon emissions, creates more jobs per megawatt than any other technology, and can be deployed cost-effectively and quickly—all while improving grid reliability. The solar industry is looking forward to helping states achieve an optimal long-term strategy for both their economies and environment.”
“We expect that the court will correctly determine that the EPA is well within its authority under the Clean Air Act to direct states to rely on emission-reduction technologies, like solar, to reduce emissions from the electric sector while creating jobs and driving investment. The solar industry plans to strongly defend this rule against any legal opposition that arises along the way,” SEIA’s Vice President of State Affairs, Sean Gallagher. “The Clean Power Plan follows a tradition of using proven technologies and market based solutions, such as solar energy, to reduce emissions,” he added.Tweet