Fifteen states' Attorneys General petitioned a federal court in Washington on Thursday, aiming to block US President Barack Obama’s climate change program.
The "Clean Power Plan" Obama referred as “the biggest most important step we've ever taken to combat climate change” aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants. Obama in early August unveiled the final version of the program that has been regulated several times by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In order to postpone EPA’s deadline, Attorneys General in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming filed for the stay in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The states asked for a ruling by September 8, a year before the deadline to submit their custom plans to the EPA, explaining how they will achieve this goal.
The EPA has not yet finalised the legal procedures, therefore the states opposing the act are able to file lawsuits against it.
"This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation's history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out. "With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states' energy economies" said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
On the other hand, EPA is confident that the “Clean Power Plan” is based on “sound legal and technical foundation” and would overcome legal challenges.
“To ensure that the Clean Power Plan’s significant health benefits and progress against climate change are delivered to all Americans, EPA and the Department of Justice will vigorously defend it in court,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said.
The plan will designate each state an emission-cut goal depending on the level of their energy consumption, and require them to submit their custom plans to the EPA, explaining how they will achieve this goal.
Comparing with 2005 rates, the plan is aimed to reduce carbon emission levels by 32 percent by the year of 2030.