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Group of 23 states again file lawsuit against EPA over power plant restrictions

By Doug G. Ware
President Barack Obama's central plan to fight climate change is under fire from nearly half the states in the nation, which have filed two lawsuits in the last two weeks challenging the EPA's mandates to cut the power industry's carbon emissions by a third by 2030. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/2b1f35c144a76118424cd5d37d2d13bb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
President Barack Obama's central plan to fight climate change is under fire from nearly half the states in the nation, which have filed two lawsuits in the last two weeks challenging the EPA's mandates to cut the power industry's carbon emissions by a third by 2030. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A group of 23 states have filed another lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over a new regulation that prohibits the construction of new power plants in the United States.

Tuesday's suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., follows similar legal action taken last month by a 24-state coalition that seeks to revoke the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan -- an initiative that would drastically slash carbon emissions over the next 15 years.

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is leading the legal charge, said the EPA overstepped its authority in mandating the Clean Power Plan. Tuesday, he levied a similar complaint about the power plant construction law.

"This gamble proves far too costly for West Virginia," Morrisey said. "EPA cannot rely on experimental and costly technology that threatens hard-working West Virginians whose livelihoods are dependent upon the coal industry."

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A House panel approved Congressional Review Act resolutions against the EPA's mandates Tuesday, The Hill reported. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will take up similar measures -- though President Obama has already promised to veto them.

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The new regulations are among the centerpieces of President Barack Obama's aggressive plan to fight climate change -- and part of the EPA's New Source Performance Standards project that seeks to cut the power industry's carbon emissions by a third by 2030.

"These unlawful policies cannot go forward," Morrisey added. "Not only will EPA's rules threaten good-paying jobs and small business throughout West Virginia, this unilateral action is unlawful."

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A federal court won't rule on the issue until late December at the earliest.

The states joining West Virginia in Tuesday's suit are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Two states that were party to the first lawsuit but not the second are Colorado and New Jersey. Conversely, Oklahoma is involved in Tuesday's suit but not the first.

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