Zoeller Opens State's Playbook For Anti-EPA Lawsuit

Aug 6, 2015

The new regulations, if found to be legal, would cut power plant pollution by almost a third.
Credit Alan Berning / https://www.flickr.com/photos/14617207@N00/2621375759

Indiana and the other 14 states planning to sue to stop implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new clean air standards have already begun to gameplan how they’ll make their case.

The states sued once before to stop the regulation -- an appeals court ruled they had to wait till the rule was final.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the fact the court has heard the arguments already may speed up the process. But he says electric utilities will have to start taking action immediately to start toward compliance with the rule's 15-year deadline, in case the courts uphold the EPA's authority.

Zoeller says the states will point to a Supreme Court ruling in an unrelated Clean Air Act case, in which Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that when the executive branch, in his words, "claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate...we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism.”

Zoeller argues the administration itself indicated a belief that it needed explicit authority to regulate carbon emissions, and twice asked Congress to grant it before claiming it already had the authority it needs.

The states also contend the EPA didn't follow proper procedure in publishing the rule.