McConnell taking fight with EPA to states across the nation

03/20/2015 11:47 AM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is urging governors across the states to defy the Environmental Protection Agency in their request for carbon reduction plans.

In a letter sent to all 50 Governors McConnell called on the group to reject the EPA’s proposed regulation aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030, based on 2005 emissions numbers.

The rule is expected to be finalized this summer, and the plan calls on giving flexibility to states to meet the rules. Under the rule Kentucky officials would have to announce a plan to reduce carbon emissions in the state 18 percent by 2030.

But, McConnell is asking Governors not to produce a plan saying the EPA’s plan
goes “far beyond its legal authority.” In a letter to all 50 Governors, Senator McConnell wrote that he has “serious legal and policy concerns regarding the proposal.”

In the letter sent Thursday, Senator McConnell asked the Governors to “carefully review the consequences before signing up for this deeply misguided plan.”

“I believe you will find, as I have, that the EPA’s proposal goes far beyond its legal authority and that the courts are likely to strike it down,” he wrote. “All of which raises the very important question of why the EPA is asking states at this time to propose their own compliance plans in the first place.”

In the letter McConnell continued writing:

“This proposed plan is already on shaky legal grounds, will be extremely burdensome and costly, and will not seriously address the global environmental concerns that are frequently raised to justify it. Moreover, declining to go along with the administration’s legally dubious plan will give the other two branches of government time to address the proposal and will not put your state at risk in the interim. It will provide time for the courts to rule on whether the EPA’s proposed rule is legal, and it will give Congress a chance to address numerous concerns surrounding this latest power grab by the EPA.”

Read the full letter from McConnell here.

In an early March op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader McConnell proposed that states should not move forward with their plans, as the eventual fight would be played out in the courts.

At the time the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet told the Courier-Journal they were moving forward creating a Kentucky plan without federal interference.

Some worry that if plans are not submitted to the EPA the federal government could decide how states should offset their carbon emissions. The currently proposed rule from the EPA would allow states like Kentucky to draft their own solutions.

Whatever takes place the likelihood is high that the fight over emissions will be inherited by a new Kentucky governor and a new president.


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