West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey spoke Tuesday at a public hearing related to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed repeal of the so-called Clean Power Plan.
The Attorney General welcomed the current administration’s careful consideration of the Power Plan’s economic impact – a dramatic shift from the Obama-era EPA, which issued the sweeping regulation without a single public hearing or meeting in West Virginia, where coal provides many jobs.
“I’m encouraged by this EPA’s commitment to improving its track record and listening to the people who will be deeply affected by this decision,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Shutting down coal-fired power plants would have closed mines and devastated other businesses that rely upon coal’s success – all resulting in significant job losses throughout West Virginia and other states. I was proud to lead the 27 state effort that obtained a stay of this unlawful regulation.”
The EPA proposed repealing the Power Plan in October, a move celebrated as a major victory in West Virginia’s fight against the Obama-era regulation that would have devastated coal communities across the state and nation.
The Attorney General, in March, witnessed President Trump sign an executive order that initiated his administration’s review of the Power Plan.
Attorney General Morrisey has taken the lead on many achievements that paved the way for the impending repeal. That includes challenging the Power Plan on the day it was published and leading the state’s legal efforts all the way to the Supreme Court’s historic and unprecedented stay of the regulation in February 2016 and beyond.
Together, these victories blocked enforcement of the Power Plan and provided time for a new administration.
The Attorney General has long argued the Obama EPA overstepped its authority by transforming the nation’s energy industry, double regulating fossil-fired power plans and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation. He led a multistate coalition in fighting against the implementation of the Power Plan.
Tuesday’s testimony was part of a two day public hearing at the State Capitol in Charleston.