CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey hailed Wednesday’s decision blocking the Environmental Protection Agency as a monumental victory, explaining that it prevents the EPA from enforcing its illegal and unprecedented Power Plan until the court challenge concludes.
West Virginia and Texas led a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies in requesting the stay
Attorney General Morrisey praised the decision saying it provides immediate relief for workers and businesses across the country. It also reinforces confidence in the broader challenge as the Supreme Court found the coalition’s arguments strong enough to stop EPA even before the lawsuit concludes.
“Make no mistake – this is a great victory for West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues.”
The D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments on the merits of the states’ case on June 2. A final ruling from that court might not come for months and without the stay the administration’s plan would have caused even more destruction of untold numbers of jobs, skyrocketing electricity bills and the weakening of the nation’s electric grid.
Unfortunately, the impact of the regulation already has been felt in the Mountain State.
West Virginia and Texas led 23 other states in challenging the EPA’s power plan on Oct. 23, 2015, the day it was published. The states argue EPA exceeded its authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation among other reasons.
Those joining West Virginia Attorney General Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in seeking a stay Jan. 26 with the Supreme Court were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.