Eastern Kentucky native Jimmy Rose sang "Coal Keeps the Lights On" at a recent press conference.
Kentucky residents loaded buses to testify at EPA hearings in Atlanta.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Twelve states, including Kentucky and Indiana, have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over recently proposed carbon dioxide regulations.
At issue is the EPA’s June 2 announcement which proposed performance standards for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act, Section 111(d). The proposed rule would require existing coal-fired plants to meet state-specific carbon dioxide emissions standards starting in 2020.
The states involved in the suit assert the EPA has no authority to enforce the proposed regulations. Their reasoning? The Clean Air Act prohibits the EPA from regulating emissions from sources under Section 111(d) if those sources are already regulated under Section 112. Power plants, the states insist, fit that description.
The lawsuit was signed July 31, 2014 by the Attorneys General of West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, South Carolina, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Politicians and their constituents are sounding off on the matter.
Senator Mitch McConnell believes the proposed standards would drive up electricity prices and have a negative impact on the coal industry and subsequently, Kentucky families. He was joined by Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Andy Barr and Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers at a press conference on this topic July 30 in Washington, D.C.
“[The proposed regulation] impacts districts all around this country that are not mining congressional districts,” said Congressman Barr. “It’s about the auto dealer, whose sales are off 50 percent. It’s about the hospital whose bills are going through the roof. It’s about the security company that had to lay off all its workers.”
Indiana’s governor Mike Pence issued the following statement the day the suit was filed:
“The EPA’s recent action regulating carbon dioxide emissions shows a complete disregard for the rule of law and will harm Indiana ratepayers. Congress has already rejected legislation that would put limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and a law of this significance should be passed by the legislative branch. The State of Indiana is determined to use every legal means at our disposal to prevent the EPA from overstepping its authority and costing Hoosier jobs.”
On the other side of the spectrum, led by the Sierra Club, Louisville Councilwoman Attica Scott and other Kentuckians who want to curb carbon pollution took a bus to Atlanta July 29 to testify during EPA hearings.
"Coal isn't cheap at all. It comes at great cost to our water, our air and our economy," said Nick Mullins, a fourth generation former underground coal miner. "It's time for the EPA to limit carbon pollution from these plants and help us build a new economy that values our health and creates good jobs by investing in energy efficiency and renewables.”
The EPA believes the proposed rule would facilitate a 30 percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions from the United State's electric power sector by 2030 in relation to their 2005 levels. The 12 states that followed suit asked the court to prohibit the EPA from finalizing its proposed rule.
The entire filing can be found at the top of this story.