AUSTIN — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to stop spending federal tax dollars to comply with the halted Power Plan.
“The entire point of the Supreme Court’s extraordinary action in putting a stop to the Power Plan was to preserve the status quo pending the outcome of the litigation,” Morrisey wrote in the letter, which can be viewed online. “EPA should respect that action by leaving things the way they are until the courts have had their say.”
The letter responds to a request by 14 state environmental agency officials seeking additional information and technical assistance from the EPA related to the Power Plan.
Morrisey and Paxton ask that EPA decline the invitation to spend federal taxpayer dollars to aid compliance, specifically by discontinuing work on the “Clean Energy Incentive Program” (“CEIP”) and the non-final carbon trading rules.
In February, Morrisey and Paxton led 29 states and state agencies in winning a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision that denies the EPA authority to enforce the rule and calls into serious question the rule’s legality. All compliance deadlines associated with the Power Plan were also frozen.
The letter asserts that because the CEIP and the carbon trading rules have no legal significance without a legally operative Power Plan, taking action on these issues calls into question the EPA’s commitment to the Supreme Court’s order.
Morrisey said that at minimum the EPA should reconsider spending scarce resources on a rule that the Supreme Court has indicated raises serious legal questions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently rescheduled oral arguments on the merits of the case until Sept. 27 before the full court as opposed to a three-judge panel.
“We welcome this unusual step by the full court, which confirms our long-held view that the Power Plan is an unprecedented and transformative rule of a kind the states have never seen from EPA,” Morrisey said in a press release. “We look forward to presenting our arguments in September.”