WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In a case before the Supreme Court that could gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), multiple Republican attorneys general argued that the agency doesn’t have the legal authority to make new rules about green gas emissions from power plants.
According to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, it’s up to Congress to decide these rules because of the impact they have on state economies.
“Whatever your position is on the major question of climate change, Congress needs to settle it as opposed to unaccountable agencies,” Morrisey said. “Whole towns that can get shuttered down as a result of regulations that don’t have lawful origination.”
The lawsuit originated in 2015 after the Obama administration issued the Clean Power Plant — which has since been struck down.
The Biden administration argued in court that the states bringing this case to trial have no standing because currently there is no EPA rule to regulate emissions from power plants.
“Instead what they seek from this court is a decision to constrain EPA’s authority in the upcoming rulemaking,” said U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar.
Prelogar also said that the merits of these cases are inaccurate, saying that Clean Power Plant wouldn’t have any major impact.
“The industry achieved CPP’s emission limits a decade ahead of schedule and in the absence of any federal regulation,” Prelogar said.
The Supreme Court’s decision could impact whether the EPA can roll out new emissions rules — not just for power plants, but for any sector.
The EPA is currently working on new rules for power plants that are expected to be finalized in two years. However, the decision, in this case, could impact that timeline.