Olens Files Suit Against the EPA


Attorney General Sam Olens files suit against the EPA to stop the new, unlawful 111(d) Rule.

Attorney General Sam Olens today announced that Georgia, along with 23 other states, filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s Section 111(d) Rule, an unlawful plan to radically restructure the way electricity is produced and consumed throughout the country. The Rule, as promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would result in dramatically higher electricity bills and significantly less reliable service for families, businesses, hospitals and schools across Georgia.

“This rule is a classic example of the Obama Administration’s pattern of attempting to accomplish with regulation what it cannot achieve with legislation,” said Olens. “We will combat this regulatory overreach to stop an increase in the cost of electricity for Georgia families. The Obama Administration’s EPA Chief Gina McCarthy has admitted that this regulation will have no actual effect on climate and that this rule would only lower temperatures by 1/100 of a degree Celsius. There is no justification for a rule that will lead to higher costs and fewer jobs because it’s entirely ineffective.”

The Rule purports to require States to reorganize their energy grids, in order to reduce carbon emissions from electric-generating plants by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Rule could cost over $25 billion annually and those costs will ultimately be paid by consumers who could see their electric bills go up by 10% or more.

In the documents filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the States make clear that the EPA has no legal authority to promulgate or enforce the 111(d) Rule.

States have argued to the EPA for more than a year that the Rule is illegal for multiple reasons. In particular, the EPA lacks authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to force States to fundamentally restructure their electric grids by requiring them to use less coal-fired energy and to build costly wind and solar facilities. The Rule is also illegal because it seeks to require States to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though the EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the Act, imposing a double regulation that is prohibited by the Clean Air Act.

The States challenging the Rule include West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporation Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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