WV Gov. Tomblin, Attorney General Morrisey file brief in EPA ca - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Gov. Tomblin, Attorney General Morrisey file brief in EPA case

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CHARLESTON, WV -

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey added West Virginia to the list of states filing briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to Environmental Protection Agency rules that would allow the federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources.

Both Kansas and Montana have filed the same amicus, or friend of the court, briefs.

At issue is four consolidated cases to the U.S. Supreme Court about the establishment of the EPA's regulatory regime for the treatment of greenhouse gases.

West Virginia's brief was filed May 23.

The states argue the EPA's "tailoring rule" contradicts explicit provisions of the Clean Air Act and establishes new compliance levels for greenhouse gas emissions that are significantly higher than the levels specified in the statute, according to news releases from Tomblin's and Morrisey's offices.

The briefs argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should hear the case to clarify that the EPA has misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and acted outside its legal and its Constitutional authority.

Tomblin said he wrote to President Barack Obama last month and urged him to direct the EPA to "discontinue its anti-coal policies."

"The EPA's proposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions threaten the livelihood of our coal miners to the point of killing jobs and crippling our state and national economies, while also weakening our country's efforts toward energy independence," Tomblin said in a news release. "I hope the high court recognizes the urgency and critical importance of our brief for all Americans."

Morrisey said the EPA's rules for greenhouse gas emissions are another example of the federal agency overstepping its role to the detriment of West Virginians.

"The EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in this way will have a devastating impact on the industries that must comply with these rules, as well as consumers," Morrisey said in a news release. "Once again, the EPA is moving ahead on an issue with little regard for the plain language of the statute and the people who are directly impacted by these incredible new burdens."

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., issued a statement to say she commends Tomblin and Morrisey for filing the brief.

"The EPA's job-killing greenhouse gas regulations are comprised of the most expensive and burdensome sets of rules the agency has ever issued," Capito said in her news release. "They are also emblematic of an administration that consistently oversteps its bounds.

"With an administration dead set on shutting down our nation's natural resources, it is often up to the courts to protect West Virginia jobs and keep a power hungry agency in check."