Politics & Government

Derek Schmidt asks EPA to delay new power plant rules

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has signed a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the implementation of new regulations for power plants.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has signed a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the implementation of new regulations for power plants. File photo

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has signed a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the implementation of new regulations for power plants.

The Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants, released this week by the Obama administration, sets a goal to reduce power plant carbon emissions by 32 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2030. States must submit plans to the federal government on how they will curb emissions to meet this goal.

Schmidt was one of 16 attorneys general to a sign a letter that called this goal staggering. The letter said the new rule would “coerce the States to expend enormous public resources and to put aside sovereign priorities to prepare State Plans of unprecedented scope and complexity.”

The plan, which is set to take in October, has been strongly opposed by the coal industry.

The other states signing the letter were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The same group unsuccessfully fought the issuance of the power plan, but a federal court determined that the challenge was premature since it was brought before the rule was finalized.

“The EPA ignored Kansas’ concerns about this rule that were submitted during the formal comment period,” Schmidt said in a statement. “Masked within the regulation’s mind-numbing tedium is the reality that this new regulation will ultimately cost Kansas consumers and ratepayers enormous sums of money and should not be implemented without proper judicial review to determine whether the people’s elected representatives in Congress actually gave EPA the authority it now claims.”

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