Kansas and 14 other states want a federal court in Washington to delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s new greenhouse gas regulation.
Called the Clean Power Plan by the Obama administration, the regulation aims to reduce power plant pollution significantly, including a 32 percent reduction from 2005 levels in carbon pollution and a 90 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide by 2030, according to the EPA.
The states’ lawsuit, filed Thursday, doesn’t challenge the regulation’s merits but focuses on the deadlines. The states have 13 months to submit their initial plans for cutting emissions.
“This is no ordinary regulation, and the administration’s approach to it has been anything but ordinary,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a prepared statement. “We asked EPA for a delay but did not get a straight answer. So now we’re asking the federal court to order a delay.”
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A previous suit against the regulation was ruled premature, so the states renewed the request after the EPA regulation was announced last week. A copy of the filing is at 1.usa.gov/1Esbhv5.
The EPA says the plan’s historic pollution reduction will avoid thousands of premature deaths and prevent asthma cases and hospitalizations. But Schmidt said it appears the regulation has more to do with restructuring the country’s energy sector than environmental protection.
The coal industry opposes the plan, saying it would be hugely expensive for consumers and businesses.
“If that sort of dramatic and costly restructuring is warranted, it should be decided by the people’s elected representatives in Congress, not by unelected bureaucrats at the EPA,” Schmidt said.
Besides Kansas, the states joining the suit were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.