States aren't giving the Obama administration any rest, filing a 24-state lawsuit on Tuesday against its rules for new power plants, after 26 states sued last month to oppose the Clean Power Plan.
The latest suit being led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey asks the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals "to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency's new source performance standards [or New Source rule], which effectively prohibits the construction of new, coal-fired power plants."
Many of the states joining the New Source challenge are also opposing the Clean Power Plan, which is the centerpiece of President Obama's climate agenda. The plan requires states to reduce carbon emissions a third by 2030, which states argue oversteps the Environmental Protection Agency's authority and the U.S. Constitution. Many scientists blame greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels for driving manmade climate change.
Morrisey argues that the New Source rule relies on "experimental technology" that makes it cost-prohibitive to build any coal plants in the country. The technology, known as carbon capture and storage, is too "expensive and unproven on a commercial scale" to be mandated for new coal-fired generators.
"This gamble proves far too costly for West Virginia," Morrisey said. "EPA cannot rely on experimental and costly technology that threatens hard-working West Virginians whose livelihoods are dependent upon the coal industry." The lawsuit argues that the EPA has overstepped its "legal authority" under the Clean Air Act by "finalizing emissions standards that will jeopardize West Virginia's energy needs as well as good-paying coal jobs here and nationwide."
States joining West Virginia include: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.