A month after joining 15 other states in an effort to stay implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan while a lawsuit proceeds, a U.S. court ruled against Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and other attorneys general.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit dismissed the stay request filed Wednesday (Aug. 5) by West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey, Rutledge and 14 other attorneys general. Their request sought to halt the EPA from “implementation of this onerous regulatory scheme until the courts have a chance to rule on its legality.”
The Clean Power Plan, pushed by President Obama, would require states to come up with plans to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 32% by 2030. At the time of the legal filing in August, Rutledge and Morrisey both said they believed they had a strong case on the merits and would prevail in court once their case was heard.
In its ruling, the D.C. appellate court said the parties were denied “because petitioners have not satisfied the stringent standards that apply to petitions for extraordinary writs that seek to stay agency action.”
Legal challenges to the EPA rule, known as 111(d), could take years to progress through the court process. Meanwhile, state regulators and industry leaders are moving forward with planning for a potential state plan to implement the so-called “dirty air” regulations.
The Arkansas Sierra Club issued a statement from director Glen Hooks on the D.C. court ruling.
“Today a federal court sensibly rejected Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s latest attempt to scuttle common-sense environmental protections. This is the second time that a federal court has denied Rutledge’s fruitless crusade to stop the Clean Power Plan. It’s long past time for her to stop wasting Arkansas tax dollars on fruitless legal challenges,” Hooks said.
Attorney General spokesman Judd Deere, said:
“The Attorney General is disappointed with today’s ruling, but procedural hurdles like this will occur. This decision from the court says nothing about the legality of the Clean Power Plan. Unfortunately, the EPA has not published the rule yet preventing Arkansas and other States from challenging the rule on the merits. The Attorney General remains confident the legal challenge will show the EPA has gone far beyond the scope intended by the Clean Air Act.”