Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reacts to U.S. Supreme Court’s Michigan v. EPA decision


Patrick Morrisey

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued the following statement Monday reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must consider the economic costs of complying with the regulations it imposes.

“I am thrilled that, for the second year in a row, the Supreme Court agreed with my Office’s argument that the EPA violated the Clean Air Act in imposing a costly regulation on the American people,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The Supreme Court’s ruling today that the EPA has no authority to ignore the costs of its regulation will have far-reaching consequences for the agency’s many other overly expensive rules, including those it plans to enact as part of its effort to cripple West Virginia coal.

“Just like last year’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Supreme Court’s rejection of the EPA’s legal arguments today should serve as a clear warning signal to the agency: stop violating the law,” Attorney General Morrisey said.

“I hope that the EPA will finally heed this warning. Just last month, the EPA put forward an unprecedented rule that imposes federal control on local waters and farmlands, in clear violation of the Clean Water Act. And in the coming months the EPA is slated to finalize its so-called Clean Power Plan, which will seek to impose unprecedented and illegal requirements on States and coal-fired power plants. These Rules will have devastating effects on coal miners, farmers, businesses and homeowners of West Virginia.

“If the EPA ignores the Supreme Court’s clear warning today and continues to press forward with these illegal, costly rules, my Office will challenge those rules in court, and we intend to win – again,” Attorney General Morrisey said.

In 2012, the EPA imposed costly regulations on power plants to address mercury and other air toxics, which by the EPA’s own estimates would require compliance costs for those plants of more than $9 billion per year.

West Virginia joined a bipartisan group of 21 States, led by Michigan, to challenge the rule, arguing the EPA improperly confined its focus to health and environmental risks, and ignored what it would cost the industry to comply with this broad new regulatory regime.

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