(The Center Square) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey signed onto a petition with 19 other states to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to limit the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and protect jobs.
An appellate court ruled that the EPA had broad authority to limit carbon outputs without legislative input. The petition warns the authority would allow the agency to decarbonize any sector of the economy, such as factories and power plants. Such authority, the petitioners argue, violates the separation of powers.
“The appeals court ruling seeks to transform EPA from serving as an environmental regulator into a central energy planning authority – yet it was never designed to have so much power over states and the livelihood of American families,” Morrisey said in a statement.
In the petition, the attorneys general argue the appellate court wrongly interpreted the Clean Air Act to grant the EPA broad authority to act without Congressional input to radically transform the energy grid. They argue the appellate court ignored a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that ruled the laws currently limit the EPA’s authority on such matters.
The petitioners said granting the EPA this broad authority would damage the coal mining industry, cause job losses nationally and increase energy costs.
“This wildly expansive power to regulate factories, hospitals and even homes has tremendous costs and consequences for all Americans, in particular West Virginia’s coal miners, pipeliners, natural gas producers and utility workers as well as the countless others who rely upon their success,” Morrisey said. “If EPA lacks such expansive authority, as we argue, the Supreme Court should make that clear now. Any further delay will impose costs the energy sector can never recoup and force states to sink even more years and resources into an enterprise that is – at best – legally uncertain.”
Petitioners are urging the Supreme Court to immediately review the appellate decision to prevent irreparable harm to the economy if the regulations are put in place.