AG Koster follows through on threat to sue EPA over “Clean Power Plan”

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster Friday (October 23) joined Attorneys General from 25 other states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over provisions contained in the so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP).

EPA published the CPP regulation on Friday and the AGs from around the country filed suit immediately, asking a federal court to issue a stay. A stay would block implementation of the regulations until a court decides whether or not the regulation is legal.

Koster announced earlier this month that he would join the suit once EPA announced its final rule. He did so at the urging, and with the support of, Associated Industries of Missouri. AIM president Ray McCarty led a group of business leaders in a meeting with Koster’s staff to ask the Attorney General to protect Missouri from the most stringent greenhouse gas emission standards in history.

“Obama’s so called ‘Clean Power Plan’ will increase costs and reduce the consistent availability of electricity to all consumers in Missouri, including manufacturers, hospitals, data centers, and other facilities that require reliable, low-cost electricity,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “We have engaged in conversations with Attorney General Koster’s office regarding these challenges from a business point of view and we are very pleased the State of Missouri has now joined the lawsuit against this harmful regulation proposed by the Obama Administration’s EPA.”

In a statement, Koster, one of just two Democratic AGs to join the suit,  said the EPA was overstepping its authority by issuing state-by-state limits on carbon emissions.

“EPA’s plan sets a compliance schedule that is economically risky and robs Missouri of its competitive advantage in low consumer and industrial electrical rates,” said Koster.

Koster’s complete statement can be found here.

The National Association of Manufacturers has long maintained that the CPP program would be the most expensive mandate in country’s history. On Friday, NAM issued a statement, saying that the organization “had filed hundreds of pages of comments with the EPA seeking to improve the proposed rule; these comments were largely ignored, leaving manufacturers no choice but to seek judicial intervention.”

“Manufacturers can’t sit by while this Administration makes it increasingly difficult to make things and create jobs in the United States, especially at a time when the regulatory weight borne by manufacturers is heavier than ever,” wrote NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly. “Manufacturers will continue to be responsible stewards of our environment and will continue to lead in reducing emissions. With reasonable policies that allow for growth and innovation, we will continue developing solutions to tackle our biggest environmental challenges, but this approach is not the answer.”

The publication of the rule in federal registry now opens a 60-day window where states and industries can file suit with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Clean Power Plan, covering existing power plants, is available here. The rule for new, modified and reconstructed power plants is here . And the proposed federal implementation plan, set for finalization next year, is available here.

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.