Texas, West Virginia, and 22 other states have filed a lawsuit to challenge an Obama Administration rule that opponents say radically restructures the way electricity is produced and consumed in the United States.
The Plaintiff states say that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule will result in higher electricity bills and less reliable service.
The EPA is seeking to reduce carbon emissions from electric-generating plants by 32 percent by 2030. The reduction is based on levels that existed in 2005.
Besides Texas and West Virgina, other states that have joined as plaintiffs in the lawsuit include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) released a report on October 16 that was an updated Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan. In August, the EPA released the Clean Power Plan (CPP) final rule which sets limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The report said the EPA’s rule would increase retail electric prices by up to 16 percent by 2030. This increase does not include the costs for new transmission lines and other costs needed to comply with the Rule.
In their lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Plaintiff states argue that the EPA has no legal authority to promulgate or enforce the rule.
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Once again, President Obama and his EPA have overstepped their legal authority and enacted a regulation that will dramatically raise Texans’ electric bills and threaten the reliability of the electric grid.”
Paxton added, “The Texas Attorney General’s Office is leading a nationwide coalition, along with West Virginia, to prevent massive increases in electric bills that would hurt hard-working families, the elderly and the poor.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the EPA’s action a “power grab” “disguised as a ‘Clean Power Plan.’”
The Texas governor says the rule makes federal regulations that are over-burdensome even more so, driving up energy costs, stagnating job growth, and threatening the reliability of the state’s electric grid.
Governor Abbott charges that the EPA rule also “tread[s] all over the State of Texas’ sovereignty,” and does so “with seemingly no concept of what it costs to support a family, start a business or save for retirement.” He adds, “the federal government has yet again proven its readiness to sacrifice American jobs in the name of expanding bureaucratic authority and pushing its liberal agenda.” Abbott said he applauds the Attorney General’s challenge to the Clean Power Plan and offers “[his] full support for all efforts to fight federal government overreach.”
Since taking office in January 2015, Governor Abbott signed a multi-state letter calling on the EPA to refrain from issuing new ozone standards that he says “would stifle economic growth and job creation.” The Texas governor also submitted comments challenging the EPA’s proposed “regional haze” rule as unlawful and unconstitutional.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2