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Urges Power Plan Withdrawal

Rutledge Urges New Administration and Congress to Withdraw Clean Power Plan

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with 23 other states, sent a bi-partisan letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, chair of the Trump Transition Team; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, urging the incoming administration and Congress to quickly withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) so-called Clean Power Plan.

The states are calling on President-elect Trump to issue an executive order on day one making clear that the EPA lacked the statutory authority to adopt the rule and directing the agency to take no further steps or action to enforce it.

“President-elect Trump has made it clear he wants to reduce the regulatory burden on all Americans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Along with my colleagues, I am urging the President-elect, along with Congress, to act quickly to remove one of the most sweeping environmental regulations this country has seen and one that will cause electric rates across the country to skyrocket.”

Arkansas is part of a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies that are challenging the Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit, which heard oral arguments in the case in September. In February, following a request from the coalition, the U.S. Supreme Court placed an injunction on the plan until its full legality can be determined.

The letter, which was led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, explains that the Clean Power Plan is an unlawful and unilateral attempt by the EPA to circumvent Congress and force states to shift away from fossil-fuel based electric generation and to methods preferred by the EPA and left-leaning coastal organizations.

Along with the executive order, the states are urging the administration to take formal administrative action to withdraw the rule and related actions in court, review the existing litigation and work with Congress to consider adopting legislation to address the specific issues giving rise to the rule.

In addition to Morrisey and Rutledge, the letter is signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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Urges to Withdraw Clean Power Plan

Rutledge Urges New Administration and Congress to Withdraw Clean Power Plan

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, along with 23 other states, sent a bi-partisan letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, chair of the Trump Transition Team; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, urging the incoming administration and Congress to quickly withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) so-called Clean Power Plan.

The states are calling on President-elect Trump to issue an executive order on day one making clear that the EPA lacked the statutory authority to adopt the rule and directing the agency to take no further steps or action to enforce it.

“President-elect Trump has made it clear he wants to reduce the regulatory burden on all Americans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Along with my colleagues, I am urging the President-elect, along with Congress, to act quickly to remove one of the most sweeping environmental regulations this country has seen and one that will cause electric rates across the country to skyrocket.”

Arkansas is part of a bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies that are challenging the Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit, which heard oral arguments in the case in September. In February, following a request from the coalition, the U.S. Supreme Court placed an injunction on the plan until its full legality can be determined.

The letter, which was led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, explains that the Clean Power Plan is an unlawful and unilateral attempt by the EPA to circumvent Congress and force states to shift away from fossil-fuel based electric generation and to methods preferred by the EPA and left-leaning coastal organizations.

Along with the executive order, the states are urging the administration to take formal administrative action to withdraw the rule and related actions in court, review the existing litigation and work with Congress to consider adopting legislation to address the specific issues giving rise to the rule.

In addition to Morrisey and Rutledge, the letter is signed by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, as well as the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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Pruitt Right Choice for EPA

ICYMI: Why Scott Pruitt is the Right Choice for the EPA

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Today, an op-ed written by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appeared on FoxNews.com, which explains why she is supporting her colleague, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, as the best choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Before the ink dried on the press release announcing President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), liberal special interest groups lined up to oppose the nomination. Can anyone honestly imagine an EPA nominee by the President-elect that these groups would have supported? Once we get beyond the activist-partisan political games, it becomes clear that the President-elect’s choice is the right person at the right time—a decision I fully support.

Despite what you hear from the left side of the aisle, Republicans actually do want clean air and water. Attorney General Pruitt, like most conservatives, wants our regulatory agencies run with common sense and not a political agenda. In a 2013 speech, he stated unequivocally that “there is a proper role” for the EPA to regulate on “issues with respect to clean water and air that cross state lines.” Having spent years evaluating the legality, necessity and impact of EPA regulations, he has been at the forefront of challenging the EPA when necessary. When the EPA acts in excess of its legal authority, and where the agency adopts unnecessary and arbitrary rules that do incredibly little to aid the environment while doing a lot to harm the economy, Attorney General Pruitt has been strong in fighting the agency which he hopes to lead. Of the numerous regulations that the EPA published during his tenure as Attorney General of Oklahoma, he has only challenged the handful of regulations that he believed were far outside the legal parameters of the agency. It is just this type of balanced approach that Americans need steering the wheel at the EPA.

The EPA has earned its reputation as the most lawless executive agency. Over the last eight years, it has again and again painted far outside the lines of its legal authority under statutes passed by Congress. This type of conduct has garnered numerous rebukes from the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple lower courts, not to mention the ire of Congress and state attorneys general, like myself and Attorney General Pruitt. It is incredibly important to the success of the EPA’s primary mission that the agency regains the bipartisan and widespread respect it once had. And this can only be accomplished by reigning in the significant and lawless excesses of the agency. Attorney General Pruitt is just the person to accomplish this feat. His knowledge of the limitations placed on the EPA by statutes and by the U.S. Constitution is exhaustive, as is his understanding of the importance of working with as opposed to against state agencies in areas of regulatory overlap.

The President-elect was sent to Washington by the American people to drain the swamp. Of all the entrenched bureaucracies in Washington, D.C., with which I have dealt, the EPA is probably the most egregious. Its career staff is more of a satellite office of the Sierra Club and other coastal elite organizations than a fair arbiter between all citizens and all viewpoints. For too long the EPA has had a stranglehold on our nation’s economy. The magnitude of the problem requires more than just the usual change of leadership that comes with a new administration — it requires a leader that can re-focus the agency on its core mission and steer it away from a culture of legally dubious action. Scott Pruitt is the right person at the right time to lead the EPA.

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$17.5 Million Settlement with Ashley Madison

Rutledge and FTC Reach $17.5 Million Settlement with Ashley Madison

Wed, Dec 14, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined with 12 other states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a settlement with Ruby Corp., which owns the AshleyMadison.com website.

The company will make an immediate payment of $1,657,000, split between the states and the FTC. Arkansas will receive $52,829.69. The remaining $17.5 million is suspended based upon Ruby Corp.’s inability to pay a further amount, which is demonstrated through financial disclosure documents.

“While I do not condone the activities of those who joined the Ashley Madison website, it is my job as Attorney General to take action when Arkansans’ data is breached,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The false actions taken by this corporation were wrong and exposed countless members to potential fraud.”

In addition to monetary penalties, Ruby Corp. agreed to cease engaging in certain deceptive practices, to not create fake profiles and to implement a stronger data security program.

The Ashley Madison dating site catered to individuals wishing to engage in extramarital affairs. In July 2015, the site was hacked and millions of Ashley Madison members’ user information, including photographs, usernames, email addresses, communication and other profile information was posted online. In the wake of the security breach, it was discovered that the website had created thousands of fake user profiles, misrepresented the strength of its security and sold a “full delete” option, which it did not carry out in all instances.

The settlement, which was led by the State of Vermont, included Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

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Ashley Madison Settlement

Rutledge and FTC Reach $17.5 Million Settlement with Ashley Madison

Wed, Dec 14, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined with 12 other states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a settlement with Ruby Corp., which owns the AshleyMadison.com website.

The company will make an immediate payment of $1,657,000, split between the states and the FTC. Arkansas will receive $52,829.69. The remaining $17.5 million is suspended based upon Ruby Corp.’s inability to pay a further amount, which is demonstrated through financial disclosure documents.

“While I do not condone the activities of those who joined the Ashley Madison website, it is my job as Attorney General to take action when Arkansans’ data is breached,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The false actions taken by this corporation were wrong and exposed countless members to potential fraud.”

In addition to monetary penalties, Ruby Corp. agreed to cease engaging in certain deceptive practices, to not create fake profiles and to implement a stronger data security program.

The Ashley Madison dating site catered to individuals wishing to engage in extramarital affairs. In July 2015, the site was hacked and millions of Ashley Madison members’ user information, including photographs, usernames, email addresses, communication and other profile information was posted online. In the wake of the security breach, it was discovered that the website had created thousands of fake user profiles, misrepresented the strength of its security and sold a “full delete” option, which it did not carry out in all instances.

The settlement, which was led by the State of Vermont, included Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

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Office Hours in all Counties for 2nd Year

Attorney General’s Office Holds Office Hours in all 75 Counties for Second Consecutive Year

Tue, Dec 13, 2016

BATESVILLE – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that her office has achieved a new milestone by holding office hours in all 75 counties for the second consecutive year. Rutledge launched the mobile office initiative in May 2015.

“Arkansans should not have to travel to their capital city to receive the help they need,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I launched this initiative to increase access to my office instead of only being available on the internet, on a phone call or at a meeting in Little Rock. I am a firm believer that Arkansans deserve to have a face-to-face conversation with their public servants to get assistance. My staff has done amazing work to assist individuals in all 75 counties again this year, and I appreciate their dedication to families across our State.”

In 2016, more than 900 Arkansans have visited an Attorney General Mobile Office.

These mobile offices provide a location to personally assist consumers in filing consumer complaints and answer questions about the full range of services provided by the Attorney General’s office.

Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative so that her office and staff would be accessible to everyone, not just those who call the capital city home. After the success of the initiative last year, Rutledge expanded the services offered at mobile offices to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes. The office partnered with local law enforcement agencies across the State to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Since the addition of this service, the boxes have allowed authorities to properly dispose of over 320 pounds of old or unused medications.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.

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