Wyoming joins 11 other states in challenging EPA regulations for coal power plants

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – Governor Matt Mead continues to fight U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach. Today, Wyoming joined 11 other states in opposing an EPA regulation to further limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal power plants. The lawsuit challenges an EPA settlement agreement that purports to allow the EPA to over-regulate coal and is unlawful under the Clean Air Act.

Wyoming is also actively putting together an analysis on the proposed rule for existing power plants as part of the public comment period.

“We will use many different tactics to fight this rule. It is an overreach and is harmful to the economy of the entire country and in particular to Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “We need affordable energy and a clean environment. We can have both, but this is not how we get there. This rule goes too far.

“The EPA bases its proposed rule on a 105-page legal document that grossly misinterprets the plain language of the Clean Air Act,” said Governor Mead. “Court precedent and the Clean Air Act are clear that if the EPA is already regulating coal plants under one section of the Act, it cannot regulate them under another section. When Congress wrote this language, they did it knowing that coal plants should not be regulated twice.”

Wyoming is part of another lawsuit challenging the EPA’s proposed rule regulating existing power plants. Wyoming and eight other states joined a suit lead by Murray Energy.

“Shutting down coal-fired power plants hurts the economy. We are aggressively opposing this proposal,” Governor Mead said. “I want the rule withdrawn or amended to encourage innovation rather than stifling an industry.”

In a U.S. Supreme Court opinion issued in 2011, the Court stated, “EPA may not employ [Section 111(d)] if existing stationary sources of the pollutant in question are regulated under…the ‘hazardous air pollutants’ program.” In early 2013, the EPA finalized their Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which regulates coal plants under Section 112 of the Act. Even though the Act prohibits additional regulation under Section 111(d), the EPA still published its proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants under Section 111(d) of the Act. This action violates the Act and court precedent. Wyoming and the other states are asking the court to halt EPA’s action.

–Provided by Gov. Matt Mead’s Office

2 Comments

  1. Ron Walker

    I know I'm in the minority about the use of coal. We as a state and as a country need to move forward. New technology can replace coal as a source of energy. Change is inevitable and the movement to renewable energy will continue.
    This time in our history reminds me what I read in the history books about automobiles replacing the horse. State legislatures around the country made law's to limit the use of the automobile. Today people read of such laws and laughed at the stupidity of our lawmakers. Our lawmakers at that time was trying to protect the way a life. We must realize technology will continue to improve our way of life and how we work. I see in the near future a renewable energy source powering farm equipment and lowering the cost for Farmers and Ranchers. It could be hydrogen, it could be solar power, it could be steam power and it could be fusion power.

  2. Elaine Casteel

    Clean air is much more important than regulations! Wyoming got a D rating for air quality from the Lung Association because of the air pollution from the energy industry! But those in "power" would rather we breath dirty air than clean up our act!? How crazy is that! Our air and our water are the only things keeping us alive!

    The energy industries seem to be the only voices that are being heard. If you or I polluted the air and the water like they do, we would go to jail! They should be treated the same way. If they won't agree to tighter regulations then they should be shut down. Its my air they are polluting and its time to get real about clean energy and give the fossil fuels back to the dinosaurs.

    This industry has served its purpose, but it is out dated, dirty, and killing the earth. When you know better, you do better. Its time to change the way we do things.

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