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AG Patrick Morrisey calls Supreme Court decision a victory for West Virginia

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The EPA's Clean Power Plan is put on hold after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a stay until legal challenges are resolved.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the 5-4 decision is a strong signal the Supreme Court has serious concerns about the legality of the EPA's plan to cut carbon emissions at existing power plants. He called the decision a victory for West Virginia, coal miners and their families. Morrisey held a news conference Wednesday morning in Charleston.  He was joined by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton via telephone.

Morrisey says the EPA plan "represents a radical transformation of the American energy policy and will have a sweeping impact on the American way of life." He says President Obama is trying to transform the EPA from an environmental regulatory agency into "a central energy planning authority." The Clean Power Plan mandates states to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

A coalition of 29 states and state agencies filed suit against the EPA. Since the high court granted a "stay," it blocks any rules from taking effect until the legal fight plays out. That process could extend into 2017.

According to the Associated Press, the administration of President Barack Obama is vowing to press ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.  Meanwhile, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin doesn't expect the state to submit compliance plans to the EPA until after legal challenges are resolved. Tomblin says the state's environmental agency will continue to work on a feasibility study in reference to the Clean Power Plan.

West Virginia Senate President Bill Cole released the following statement:

The United States Supreme Court decision that puts a stay on the implementation of EPA's Clean Power Plan is a huge victory for West Virginia against the Obama Administration's blatant federal overreach. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and his team should be commended for their bold leadership in this lawsuit, and their diligent work to defend our coal mining communities against this President's patently illegal actions. My hope is that this will draw a line in the sand and tell Washington bureaucrats that they do not know what is best for our state and its energy industry.

 

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito released the following statement:

This is a major step forward to stop the EPA’s unworkable and overreaching regulations and is consistent with legislation I introduced last year. West Virginians know the threats posed by the president’s Clean Power Plan, and many in our state are already feeling the effects of other EPA regulations with lost jobs and higher energy bills. To make sure that these EPA regulations don’t continue to hurt my state, I will continue my efforts to protect affordable, reliable energy and end this economic assault on energy-producing states.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin issued the following statement:

[The] Supreme Court ruling sends a strong signal to the EPA that it must stop ignoring the damage its regulations are causing to our energy sector, our economy and our way of life in West Virginia. I have made it clear that this agency's reckless actions must be stopped immediately. The EPA continues to overstep its legal authority and impose regulations one after another regardless of the impact on our economy and our people. I applaud the Supreme Court for recognizing that these regulations are simply unlawful. This ruling is an important step to rein in this out-of-control agency, and I am hopeful the courts will continue to stop the EPA's Clean Power Plan in order to prevent the loss of millions of jobs, an increase in utility rates, and more damage to our economy. Our own Department of Energy has stated that coal will make up nearly thirty percent of our energy portfolio over the next few decades. Instead of working against us and imposing these self-inflicted wounds to our economy, this Administration should work with us to promote the clean energy technology of the future that we can develop right here in West Virginia

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith issued the following statement:

I have long believed that the EPA does not have the legal authority for its Clean Power Plan under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.  Further, some including constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe have argued it is also unconstitutional.  In addition, I helped advance the Ratepayer Protection Act (H.R. 2042), which would have granted a legislative stay until a court action could be completed.  Therefore, it is with great pleasure that a majority of the Supreme Court agrees that this regulatory action should not take effect until legal action is completed.  Tonight, they granted the stay in Chamber of Commerce v. EPA until legal action is completed.

Read: Supreme Court puts Obama's Clean Power Plan on hold

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