AG Pruitt Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Regional Haze Lawsuit
AG Challenging EPA’s Authority to Dismiss State-Based Plan
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Wednesday continued his fight against federal overreach in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state’s lawsuit against the EPA regarding the regional haze rule. The lawsuit challenges the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to substitute a federal plan in place of an Oklahoma plan to address visibility on federal lands in Oklahoma.
“This issue is simple: the Clean Air Act gives states the primary authority to design and implement plans to address visibility issues in federal wildlife areas,” General Pruitt said. “The EPA exceeded its authority when it dismissed Oklahoma’s plan in favor of a federal plan that will lead to utility rate increases of as much as 20 percent. Our state developed a commonsense plan to address regional haze, but because it continued the use of fossil fuels, the EPA rejected it to further its anti-fossil fuel agenda. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will agree to review our lawsuit so that we can continue the fight to protect the ability of states like Oklahoma to craft state-based solutions as provided by the law.”
Under the Clean Air Act, the regional haze rule requires states to develop plans to improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas by 2064. Oklahoma stakeholders crafted a state implementation plan that met the rule’s requirements with minimal impact on utility consumers. The EPA dismissed Oklahoma’s plan and implemented a federal plan, which utility officials estimated would cost approximately $2 billion to implement and increase rates for Oklahomans consumers by as much as 20 percent annually.
In 2012, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s dismissal of Oklahoma’s implementation plan. A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the EPA. The petition for certiorari filed Wednesday asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the matter.
The EPA is not the only federal agency that seeks to expand its authority. General Pruitt said his office is engaged in several legal challenges where federal overreach is encroaching on state authority.
“Federal agencies continue to ignore the law and use the rule making process to expand their authority, oftentimes at the expense of state authority,” General Pruitt said. “States don’t merely exist to implement federal policies, despite what the bureaucrats in Washington may think. Under cooperative federalism, the states and the federal government are to work together to find solutions to the challenges we face. When the federal government seeks to displace the states, like in the regional haze lawsuit, my office will stand up and defend the authority and the role of the states in crafting and implementing policy solutions.”
OK v EPA Petition.pdf