Politics & Government

Kansas joins lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan

High loaders move coal stockpiles at the Holcomb coal-fired power plant.
High loaders move coal stockpiles at the Holcomb coal-fired power plant. File photo

Kansas has joined 14 other states in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over new power plant regulations.

The Clean Power Plan, issued by the Obama administration earlier this month, sets a nationwide goal of reducing carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.

The policy is opposed by the coal industry, which stands to lose if the plan compels states to shift their energy dependence to other sources, such as wind and solar.

States must submit initial plans to the federal government in 13 months about how they will curb carbon emissions. Kansas and other states suing the EPA want to push back that deadline.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt accused the EPA of a systematic attack on the coal industry and contended the administration had given states too short a time frame to comply with the new regulations.

“This is no ordinary regulation, and the administration’s approach to it has been anything but ordinary,” Schmidt said in a news release. “We asked EPA for a delay but did not get a straight answer. So now we’re asking the federal court to order a delay.”

Moti Rieber, a clean-energy activist from Overland Park, called the lawsuit “a waste of time and taxpayer money that could be better spent figuring out how to lower Kansas’ carbon emissions.”

Rieber, a rabbi, runs Kansas Interfaith Power and Light, a group that promotes environmental stewardship on religious grounds.

The other states suing the EPA are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.