CHARLESTON, W.Va. —The attorney general in Kentucky says he’s confident his state, West Virginia and ten other states will prevail with a lawsuit challenging the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

Photo courtesy The Media Center

Kentucky AG Jack Conway, left, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey each spoke at Wednesday’s event in Ashland, Kentucky.

Jack Conway said those with the group, as a whole, are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia to answer a question.

“Look, can the EPA even do this? And, if they can’t, let’s go ahead and get the injunctive relief to which we’re entitled so the coal markets don’t suffer in the meantime,” he said.

“The harm is happening right now,” said Conway of why such legal relief is being sought long before the proposed regulations for emissions, which the EPA released publicly in June, are finalized next year.

Conway was scheduled to talk more about the litigation–alongside West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey–on Wednesday afternoon in Ashland, Ky. State officials from Kentucky along with members of the Kentucky Coal Association and the West Virginia Coal Association were also expected to attend.

Their argument is the EPA already regulates carbon dioxide under a different section of the Clean Water Act and so such standards of performance for existing plants, established under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, cannot be applied.

They’ve also contended West Virginia and Kentucky stand to take the hardest hits from the new regulations.

“What Patrick and I are trying to do is say, ‘Listen, this is an industry that’s been very important to central Appalachia. This is an industry that’s very important to eastern Kentucky, very important to West Virginia,'” Conway said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“It’s already under enough pressure. Let’s not have this onerous burden and single out a couple of states disproportionately for what really ought to be a shared enterprise here.”

EPA officials have said the goal of the Clean Power Act is to reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants by a national average of 30 percent, compared with 2005 levels, before 2030.

If the 645-page draft rule is implemented, states would have different deadlines for meeting individualized emission-reduction targets.

There’s some flexibility. States could meet their specific targets by reducing energy demand through more energy efficiency programs, by utilizing solar, wind energy or natural gas more or by installing pollution-control technology.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • Clean Power Plan

    Morrisey's lawsuit is frivolous. The court will dismiss it without a hearing. The DC circuit already has ruled that it cannot hear a case about a PROPOSED rule especially one that is still in the comments period. One can only challenge a final rule. That is the Rule of Law.

  • Hop'sHip

    We've been hoodwinked, Bookie. You have to be patient with us.

    • The bookman

      Have you really considered the implications of Hansen and Gore being wrong? Have you researched independently the data that supports and refutes the climate warming scenario? If you have, then I must apologize in advance for my frustration and impatience. If you haven't, then how can you take the position you take so flippantly? You do recognize the breadth of the change in our economy being attempted here based on the assumption that they were right, that the Earth was being warmed by man. Consider for a moment that they are wrong.

      • Hop'sHip

        Should I consider, also, that they are rIght? I know you haven't

        • The bookman

          Wrong! I read both sides of the argument. And I consider both sides of the argument. There is an enormous amount of misinformation out there on both sides, but also an enormous amount of real science occurring on the topic, both sides. As I've stated before, I am and have always been deeply interested in the subject of climate and geologic time. I read at least two articles a day that support the concept that man has caused our warming. Can you say the same regarding your search for the other side of the argument? It is so simple to dismiss a denier as a far right individual with a financial bias to fossil fuels.

          Other than being a citizen of WV, I don't benefit from fossil fuel extraction. No financial ties.

          I simply think the process is too large for human beings to control, impact, manipulate, or change. Our Earth has undergone great cataclysms in its 4+Billion years. The resultant effects on climate following those events take thousands of years to play out.

          There is little evidence to suggest that the models are accurate predictors of long term climatic change, and a growing amount of evidence that they are wrong in predicting such change.

          And on that we should leave the remainder of our proven energy reserves in the ground?

          Why? Because people buy into the idea that there is something better. Solar IS better. Hydro IS better. Wind IS better. Those are simply not available in large scale up models to merge into our needs. Nuclear is the only option, and I'm for it over fossil fuels. But until we deal with the political fallout of what to do with the radioactive waste, then what we have left are fossil fuels.

          Look at the the proposed NG pipeline. Here you have a move to a fuel that reduces CO2 emissions, yet that raises a fight from the environmental groups. They should be cheering. They have won. No more MTR. Emissions reduced by nearly half. Instead.....resistance.

          Thanks for the opportunity to rant. Yes, this Bookman is impatient.

  • The bookman

    CO2 emissions don't lead to higher temperatures, at least that's not what the geologic record and ice core samples tell us. It is the other way around. Throughout time, temperature increases have triggered the rise of atmospheric carbon, and quite frankly, explains the observations we currently see where CO2 concentrations continue to increase while temperature remains static.

    We are not changing the climate. It is too big, and we are too small.

    Say it with me.

    We are not changing the climate!

    Now can someone tell me why we are enduring this charade given that I am not the only person on the planet who knows this FACT.

  • Jordan

    Those commercials on tv they all say there for coal but no one knows who to believe.

    I think Shelly Moore Capito is for coal I hope

  • David

    The EPA is nothing more than a political organization like the IRS has become under the Obama administration.

    PS ....

    Natalie Tennant fully supports the EPA !!!!