Count Maine “in” as one of the 25 states filing a motion to intervene to defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA” or “Agency”) Clean Power Plan (“Rule”). A coalition including 24 states wasted little time filing suit against the much-anticipated final Rule after it was posted in the Federal Register on October 23. The coalition alleges that the Rule is an overreach of the authority delegated to the Agency by Congress and more specifically, Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act cannot be used to regulate greenhouse gases. The petitioners are asking the court to stay the Rule while the suit is pending and ultimately, invalidate it as ultra vires.
In Maine, the final Rule will require the State to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10.8 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels, a reduction from the 14 percent target set forth in the initial draft. This reduction should not be difficult for the State to achieve given that its fleet of power plants infrequently burns coal, the State is already a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), and it possesses access to an abundance of clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and tidal power.
Stay tuned to this suit which is undoubtedly destined for certiorari.
Coalition opposing the rule: West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State of Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the State of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and Attorney General Bill Schuette on behalf of the People of Michigan.
Coalition supporting the rule: New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, the District of Columbia, the City of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boulder, South Miami and Broward County (FL).