OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced on Tuesday that Oklahoma and a coalition of 11 other states filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency seeking the invalidation of a 2011 settlement.
In 2011, the EPA agreed to a settlement in which it promised to issue a pending rule to regulate existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Pruitt and the rest of the coalition argue the 2011 settlement agreement is illegal because the law prohibits existing power plants from being regulated under Section 111(d) because such power plants are regulated under Section 112(d) of the CAA.
“Our system doesn’t allow federal agencies to ‘improve’ or ‘fix’ laws to advance an agenda," Pruitt said. "But that is what happened here: the EPA made a promise in 2011 to expand its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Fortunately, the law doesn’t allow the agency to do what it wants. This lawsuit is about holding the EPA accountable to following the environmental statutes as passed by Congress."
Under the terms of the 2011 settlement, the EPA agreed to expand its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions of existing power plants. The coalition alleges the CAA prohibits the EPA from regulating the emissions of existing plants. The EPA recently issued a proposed rule related to the regulations.
"Oklahoma will continue to challenge the EPA – or any other federal agency – when it takes actions that undermine our system and the rule of law," Pruitt said.
West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, South Carolina, Ohio, Nebraska, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Alabama and Oklahoma filed the lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.