by Max Brantley
Today, in a per curiam order, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dismissed the latest attempt to derail the Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA") Clean Power Plan. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge brought the failed suit along with Attorneys General from several other states. This is the second time that the DC Circuit Court has ruled against a Rutledge challenge to the Clean Power Plan—earlier this year, the Court dismissed a case as premature since it was frivolously brought to challenge the "draft" version of the plan.
Today's ruling similarly failed, as the Court stated that Rutledge and her co-parties should be denied "because petitioners have not satisfied the stringent standards that apply to petitions for extraordinary writs that seek to stay agency action."
In response to the ruling, the Arkansas Sierra Club issued this statement from Director Glen Hooks:
"Today a federal court sensibly rejected Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's latest attempt to scuttle common-sense environmental protections. This is the second time that a federal court has denied Rutledge's fruitless crusade to stop the Clean Power Plan. It's long past time for her to stop wasting Arkansas tax dollars on fruitless legal challenges.
"Work is already beginning to decide how best to implement the Clean Power Plan in Arkansas. The Sierra Club invites Attorney General Rutledge to work with us, the PSC, the ADEQ, and all others who want to clean up our air, protect our health, and improve Arkansas's economy."
The Clean Power Plan creates the first-ever federal limits on carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's fleet of power plants. When fully implemented, it will reduce power plant carbons dioxide emissions by 32% by 2030.
“The Attorney General is disappointed with today’s ruling, but procedural hurdles like this will occur. This decision from the court says nothing about the legality of the Clean Power Plan. Unfortunately, the EPA has not published the rule yet preventing Arkansas and other States from challenging the rule on the merits. The Attorney General remains confident the legal challenge will show the EPA has gone far beyond the scope intended by the Clean Air Act.”