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WV Attorney General wants federal court to speed up EPA lawsuit

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(WVVA) West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a motion on Wednesday to speed up a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency over carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants.

The motion, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, asks the Court to rule on the lawsuit as quickly as possible. West Virginia joined a bipartisan group of 11 states back in August in filing a lawsuit that asks for the EPA to withdraw its proposed regulations to decrease carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants by 30 percent by 2030 ( 2005 standards). 

We believe a consolidated briefing schedule and expedited consideration will reduce the irreparable harm these proposed rules will have on the states. West Virginia and other coal-producing states cannot afford to have this case drag on for years. The proposed regulations already are creating uncertainty in our communities, and the longer it takes, the more of a pall it will cast over states, communities and the families who make a living from coal," says Morrisey.

According to the motion filed by Morrisey, the EPA entered into an agreement in 2011 to settle a lawsuit by environmental groups that created guidelines for states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from certain power plants. Morrisey says in 2012 the EPA enacted national emission standards on the same power plants, therefore, the agency cannot require states to regulate those power plants.

"The regulations EPA seeks to impose on the States are illegal and need to be dismissed as quickly as possible. In order to comply with the levels of emissions reduction required by the EPA, States will have to completely re-evaluate and possibly restructure their energy sector, implement new ways to reduce consumer demand for energy and overhaul how utilities are regulated. This is a considerable undertaking for States, and should not be done until a court can determine whether the regulations are even legal," says Morrisey.

Click here to read a copy of the motion.

Click here to find out more information on the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

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