States to EPA: Delay Utility MACT Rules

Earlier this week, Attorneys General from 25 states and one U.S. Territory (Guam) filed an amicus brief in the case of American Nurses Association, et al. v. Lisa P, Jackson. The group urged the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia to delay by at least one year the implementation of EPA’s Utility MACT rule, which threatens to endanger electric reliability, eliminate jobs, and saddle power consumers with significantly higher costs. Without a delay, EPA is under a court order to finalize Utility MACT rules by November 16.

“EPA is insisting on rushing ahead with a rule that will have a far-reaching impact, without adequately considering the serious concerns and questions raised by states and other interested parties in the rulemaking process,” the brief states. “Most notably, the rule under consideration has the potential to undermine significantly the reliability of our nation’s electrical supply and significantly increase the cost of electricity to the consumer.”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway led the bipartisan effort, which was joined by states as diverse as Alabama, North Dakota, Alaska, Colorado, West Virginia, and even the Territory of Guam.

“Michigan’s fragile economy cannot afford the job losses and skyrocketing electricity rates that would accompany the premature implementation of this new federal regulation,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. (Read Schuette’s statement here.)

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange added, “The EPA continues to issue job-killing regulations that harm our economy. I am proud to stand with other state Attorneys General to push back against the continued onslaught of burdensome new federal rules and regulations flowing from Washington, D.C.” (Read AG Strange’s statement here.)

News of the brief was reported nationwide, including reports from the Decatur Daily (AL) and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A number of voices praised the action, including the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC).

“Today, a historically large, bipartisan group of legal officers calls on EPA to follow law and process,” said Scott Segal, Director of ERCC, “and to take the time necessary to develop a rule based on science and policy and not on interest-group politics.”