Rutledge Joins Bipartisan Effort, Objects to the EPA’s Cap-And-Trade Rule
February 3, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined officials from 18 other states in challenging a proposal that will effectively force a cap-and-trade program upon Arkansas if it does not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) so-called Clean Power Plan.
“If Arkansas does not fully comply with the EPA’s unlawful new carbon rule then the agency will force the State to comply with a far-reaching federal plan,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans know best how to protect our clean air, but the EPA has indicated it is willing to ignore State authority in order to push a political agenda that failed to pass Congress when the President’s own party had large majorities in both chambers.”
Participating states contend the EPA’s federal plan, as set forth in relation to the Power Plan, upends state authority, increases electricity prices and violates numerous aspects of federal law.
Rutledge objected to the federal plan last month with a public comment letter to the EPA and stressed the State’s opposition to the underlying Power Plan, while questioning the EPA’s authority.
The letter also argues that the EPA lacks authority to impose a carbon credit trading program on states, arguing that such a proposal runs contrary to the Clean Air Act, violates state sovereignty and raises serious constitutional issues.
Congress rejected President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal in 2009.
Rutledge is part of a bipartisan coalition that has filed suit against the EPA’s Power Plan. The lawsuit argues the Power Plan exceeded EPA’s authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.
Rutledge has also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately halt the ongoing damage caused by the Power Plan after the D.C. Circuit denied a request.