by Max Brantley
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after she joined 15 other States to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an immediate stay of its Clean Power Plan pending the outcome of an impending legal challenge to the rule.
“The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is the wrong direction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “When it was announced earlier this week, I indicated that I was prepared to take any and all appropriate legal action to protect Arkansans from this unlawful plan, and that is exactly what I, and 15 other States, have done today. This stay is an important first step as legal action is planned.”
The stay request filed today with the EPA asks the agency to halt implementation of the plan until the courts have a chance to rule on its legality.
“Absent an immediate stay, the Section 111(d) Rule will coerce the States to expend enormous public resources and to put aside sovereign priorities to prepare State Plans of unprecedented scope and complexity,” the States write in the stay request. “In addition, the States’ citizens will be forced to pay higher energy bills as power plants shut down. In the end, the courts are likely to conclude that the Section 111(d) Rule is unlawful. At the very minimum, the States and their citizens should not be forced to suffer these serious harms until the courts have had an opportunity to review the Rule’s legality.”
The coalition has asked that the EPA take action on this stay request by Friday, Aug. 7.
Rutledge was joined in this request by the States of Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.