States Plan to Sue EPA Over Climate Change Rules

Written by Margaret Badore

A number of states and several business groups are preparing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the rules to cut carbon emissions, a central part of the Obama administrationís plan to fight climate change.

The final rules were announced back in August, but are set to be officially put into law today, when they are published in the Federal Register. This finial step is expected to trigger a slew of lawsuits, which The New York Times reports†are likely to make it to the Supreme Court.

As many as 15 states, including the West Virginia and Georgia, may bring legal opposition to the rules in court. Other states may participate in the lawsuits, but Climate Progress reports†that some states may be counter-suing in support of the rules. Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund have also said they plan to intervene in the case against the EPA.

Many of the states expected to sue are major coal producers. Opponents of the rules say that the EPA is overstepping its jurisdiction, and are also expected to ask for a delay in the implementing the rules until the court cases are settled.

The EPA rules, which are under the 1970 Clear Air Act, require states to cut their carbon emissions from power plants, but allow each state to create a plan to reach targets set by federal government. States have a number of ways to reach these goals, including closing coal plants, upping renewable power like wind and solar, or implementing cap-and-trade plans. If states fail or refuse to create a plan, the EPA will give them one. Emissions targets vary from state to state.

Despite the court challenges, most states have already begun making plans to comply with the EPA carbon rules. Back in June, Inside Climate News reported†that 49 had already begun preparing plans to meet emissions targets.

Obama is using the carbon rules as leverage to push for an international agreement to fight climate change at upcoming U.N. negotiations in Paris. Hopefully these negotiations will lead to an agreement from all participating nations to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

This post originally appeared on TreeHugger

Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe

65 comments

Mark Donner
Mark Donner1 years ago

David F. and Blossfeld are proof that a good percentage of the human population are very dangerous

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner1 years ago

Blossfeld is a complete nutjob, he's trying to convince you he's educated. He denies the very existence of 30 billion tons of CO2 entering the upper atmosphere yearly from human activity and the physics of CO2 acting as a greenhouse. Guess what Blossfeld you utter moron, the planet can recycle 20 billion tons of CO2, it cannot recycle 50 billion tons. That's called reality and the damage to the planet is evidence of your eyes. So stop pimping for the oil companies, nobody is listening to you.

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Mark Donner
Mark Donner1 years ago

Fire an throw any state government psychos in prison if they disagree. Just ban fracking and oil drilling and destructive mining including dirty coal on penalty of death, and that would include any criminals calling themselves legislators. Make a deliberate tyranny directed at corporations, since corporations are a threat to the future of the planet.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

All of these regulations issued by un-elected bureaucrats is killing jobs and our economy.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 years ago

John C.,
Carbon is the major constituent on methane gas, comprising 75% by weight, which when combusted yields carbon dioxide an water. These are the major products when burning any hydrocarbon, such as coal, oil, wood, or even diamonds (yes, they burn). Carbonates, like limestone, are not of concern, because the carbon is already in its highest oxidative state, and will not combust. There are innumerous other forms of carbon, including you and me, that are not of concern under the EPA's carbon proposal.

Regarding the EPA overstepping its bounds; while many forms of carbon are classified as pollutants (i.e. benzene, carbon tetrachloride, PCBs, etc.), carbon dioxide is not. It is not life threatening, does not harm the environment, and does not cause death (while entering a room, in which a fire was just extinguished with a CO2 system might kill you, the cause is not the CO2, but lack of oxygen). Indeed, carbon dioxide is vital to life on this planet, and history has shown that higher levels are beneficial. While the EPA is well within its bounds to regulate pollutants emanating from various businesses, its charter does not grant it permission to regulate CO2. That is why there is a big fight between business, the legislature, and SCOTUS concerning the regulation of CO2. It would be akin to regulating water, which can kill you in both too high or too low concentrations.

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john casablanca
john casablanca2 years ago

I have read many of the comments and am seemingly somewhat confused, many comments are about methane, which is a gas, while the article is about carbon "a non
metallic chiefly tetravalent element found native (as in the diamond and graphite)or as a constituent of coal, petroleum and asphalt, of limestone and other carbonates, which in many instances are pollutants. Also, the article is speaking of the EPA (ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY) being sued by various business groups (which are owned by wealthy individuals) and the states (of which the politicians in those states receive many donations from the companies suing), because in the opinion of the states and business groups, the EPA is over stepping its boundaries. HOW - because the EPA is doing its job by protecting the environment and the planet and not letting the POLLUTERS getting away with causing deaths, all in the name of PROFITS. If any lawsuits reach the SCOTUS they
may have a chance of getting some relief from the 5 paid off Justices, ROBERTS, ALITO, KENNEDY, SCALIA and THOMAS, these are the same so called Justices that
claim CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE.
John C./Houston, Tx.

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Dt Nc
Dt Nc2 years ago

An Exxon Mobil ad on this website? Really? Makes me wonder about Care2

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Dt Nc
Dt Nc2 years ago

Short term economic interests often blind people to long term economic gains (that often times are much greater).

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