Attorney General Olens Objects to EPA’s Cap-And-Trade Rule


Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens joined officials from 18 states in challenging a proposal to force costly cap-and-trade on states that do not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Power Plan.

The States contend that the EPA’s federal implementation plan upends state authority, increases electricity prices, and violates federal law.

Attorney General Olens objected to the implementation plan this month with a public comment letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The letter stressed the States’ opposition to the underlying Power Plan, questioning both EPA’s authority and the plan’s ability to impact climate change.

“Once again the Obama Administration has overstepped its executive authority,” said Olens. “State Attorneys General are here to protect our states and their families from the unconstitutional overreach of the federal government.”

Separate from the Power Plan’s illegality, the letter argues EPA lacks authority to impose a carbon credit trading program on states. Such a proposal runs contrary to the Clean Air Act, violates state sovereignty, and raises serious constitutional issues.

Congress rejected President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal in 2009. Attorney General Olens and his partners argue that effort was unnecessary, if EPA truly believed the Clean Air Act already granted authority to enact such a program.

Georgia has filed suit against the EPA’s Power Plan. The late October lawsuit argues the Power Plan exceeded EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing States to shift their energy portfolios the mix of sources preferred by the federal government, rather than those that make the most economic and environmental sense for the States.

Other States that joined in the letter were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, along with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

Many of those same States urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to immediately halt the ongoing damage caused by the Power Plan.

View a copy of the letter at


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