15 GOP governors to Obama: Climate rule breaks the law

Source: By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill.com • Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fifteen GOP governors say President Obama’s signature climate change regulation on carbon pollution from existing power plants “exceeds the scope of federal law.”

In a letter to Obama, the governors from states including North Carolina, Alaska, Arizona and Wisconsin said the rule, which requires the nation’s fleet of existing power plants to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030, is an overreach of authority.

The governors argue that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot regulate a source under two different sections of the Clean Air Act; because the EPA already regulates existing power plants under another section of the law, it cannot do so again under section 111(d), the governors argue.

They also take issue with the part of the agency’s proposal that allows states to go “beyond the fence” to cut emissions.

“In attempting to regulate outside the fence, the agency’s proposal not only exceeds the scope of federal law, but also, in some cases, directly conflicts with established state law,” the governors write.

By allowing states to go outside the fence, the governors said, the EPA “overstepped this hypothetical authority when it acted to coerce states to adopt compliance measures that do not reduce emissions at the entities EPA has set out to regulate.”

EPA chief Gina McCarthy says the agency is acting within its full authority in the proposal, set to be finalized by summer of next year.

In July, McCarthy said she is optimistic that when states “taste” the proposal for existing power plants, they will realize it is for the benefit of the nation.

“I will not go out of gate with a rule that doesn’t respect the Clean Air Act, and isn’t legally solid, just for the purpose of raising my hand and saying I fixed it,” McCarthy in July when asked about the lawsuit nine states joined onto with Murray Energy against the rule.