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    Rutledge Joins with 14 Other States Asking Court to Stay the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

    August 14, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she has joined a coalition of 15 State Attorneys General in asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to issue an emergency stay that would postpone deadlines imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan while the plan’s legality is determined by the courts.

    “Because of the deadlines and obligations included in the Clean Power Plan, Arkansas must begin to use money and resources to attempt to become compliant despite the rule having not been published in the Federal Register,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas should not have to move forward with the burdensome and costly regulations of the Clean Power Plan until the legality of the rule is determined. Unfortunately, the EPA has not published the rule yet preventing Arkansas and other States from challenging the rule on the merits. I’m confident the legal challenge will show the EPA has gone far beyond the scope intended by the Clean Air Act.”

    Typically, a stay of a federal rule would not be sought until the lawsuit challenging it is filed, which would usually occur once the rule is published in the Federal Register. In most cases, the obligations imposed by a new rule are tied to the date of publication.

    However, in this case, the Attorneys General argue, the EPA has made the unusual choice to make the States’ obligations effective immediately. Regardless of the date of formal publication, the States already have firm deadlines to submit initial and final compliance plans under the rule. Because it could be months before the 1,560-page rule is published, the Attorneys General believe court precedent makes clear that a request for a stay at this time is appropriate in order to prevent States from having to expend significant taxpayer resources to begin complying with the rule.

    Earlier this month, Rutledge asked the EPA for an administrative stay of the Clean Power Plan while its legality was reviewed by the courts. The EPA responded saying it would take the request “under consideration,” but the agency has yet to act on that request.

    Rutledge was joined in petition by the States of Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    A copy of the petition is available here.

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