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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jun 19, 2013 1:45 AM Flag

    States warn EPA: Don't let lawsuits force new regulations

    States warn EPA: Don't let lawsuits force new regulations

    By Julian Hattem - 06/18/13 06:01 PM ET

    A bipartisan group of state attorneys general are warning environmental regulators not to let threats of lawsuits force the release of new rules for carbon emissions from power plants.

    Officials from 21 states sent a letter to acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Bob Perciasepe claiming that threats to sue the agency for delaying the rules have "no legal merit" and should be ignored.

    "Appropriate process should not be subjugated, and effective policymaking cannot be forced to fruition, by threatening litigation," the attorneys general write.

    The signers fear that threats from 11 states, the District of Columbia and three environmental groups will force the EPA to issue delayed power plant emissions standards, a practice termed "sue and settle." Republicans and business groups claim that the tactic has allowed environmental organizations to force rushed regulations that are developed as court settlements behind closed doors.

    In April, the states, D.C. and the environmental organizations separately notified the EPA that they were prepared to sue the agency within 60 days over delay of the rules.

    The EPA proposed carbon emissions standards for new power plants last April, but has not yet finalized the rules. Climate advocates also want EPA to require standards for currently operating plants.

    In their letter, the 21 attorneys general refute the other states' claims and assert that the EPA is only required by the Clean Air Act to update its standards "if appropriate."

    "We therefore request that EPA refrain from allowing petitioners to unduly influence the policymaking process via settlement negotiations," they write.

    This week, the states and environmental groups announced that they were delaying their lawsuits in response to indications that the White House will unveil a major climate change plan in July.


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