CHARLESTON — Southern West Virginia’s congressional delegation joined more than 200 other members of Congress in again asking a federal circuit court of block the Environmental Protection Administration’s Clean Power Plan.
Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. Evan Jenkins filed a friend of the court brief in support of the 27 states, including West Virginia, seeking the overturn of the CPP.
“The EPA acted illegally in moving forward with this job-killing, anti-coal regulation. As a result, jobs have been lost in West Virginia while electricity prices rise. I am fighting in Congress using every tool possible to stop this EPA and this administration from killing our coal jobs,” Jenkins said in a statement.
Earlier this month, U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted the rule to give the courts time to hear the case. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is scheduled to hear arguments June 2.
The amicus brief, reads in part, “In reality, if Congress desired to give (the) EPA sweeping authority to transform the nation’s electricity sector, Congress would have provided for that unprecedented power in detailed legislation. … Nor has Congress authorized (the) EPA to make the policy choices that are reflected in the final rule — a rule that imposes enormous costs on states and the public without achieving meaningful climate benefits.”
Capito, who is leading the legislative efforts in the Senate to repeal the CCP, said it is an economic assault on West Virginia’s already volatile economy and praised the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision to halt the implementation of the plan.
“The EPA has overstepped its authority by imposing enormously burdensome regulations on states despite Congress’ rejection and now the Court should vacate this disastrous rule altogether,” she said.
However, that there is a good chance the case will head to the U.S. Supreme Court where the CPP’s future is uncertain. Prior to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death five days after the high court’s decision to send the case back to the D.C. Court of Appeals, oracles predicted the plan was doomed.
Scalia was the biggest skeptic of the CPP, but now it is anyone’s guess what will happen to the greenhouse emission reduction plan.
Sen. Joe Manchin said if the CPP becomes the law, it will have a devastating effect on the energy sector, the economy and life of many West Virginians.
“The Supreme Court ruling is an important step to rein in this out-of-control agency, which overstepped its legal authority by imposing regulations without taking into account the impact on West Virginia’s economy, our people and way of life,” Manchin said.