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coal power plant

EPA Finalizes ‘Illegal’ Clean Power Plan Tools, Draws Ire of States, Energy Companies

coal power plantThe EPA is moving forward with a voluntary cap-and-trade system for Clean Power Plan compliance, despite the US Supreme Court’s stay of the carbon pollution rules.

The final carbon trading model went to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review last week, The Hill reports.

“Many states have asked EPA to move forward with our outreach and to continue providing support and developing tools related to the Clean Power Plan, including the model trading rules and Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP),” the EPA said in a statement. “We are developing these tools in a way that is consistent with the Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan.”

In June, the EPA proposed the details of the CEIP, which rewards states for early deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency measures. The agency said the proposal was in response to requests from 14 states to provide guidance and information about the program.

Dozens of other states, however, say both of these actions by the EPA are illegal.

In joint comments submitted to the EPA, 26 state attorneys general, two state public utility commissions, and four state environmental quality departments, said the EPA is violating the Supreme Court order that halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the legal challenges have concluded.

“By moving forward with this rulemaking, EPA has ignored explicit instruction from the court, throwing years of well-established case law out the window,” Montana attorney general Tim Fox said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable for the EPA to flout the rule of law and treat our nation’s highest court in this manner, and for the sake of preserving the integrity of the institution, I encourage the agency officials to rethink their actions.”

Coal company Murray Energy, which is one of the companies that sued to stop the carbon rules, called the EPA’s actions “deeply offensive,” E&E News reports.

“While Murray Energy was successful in obtaining a Nationwide stay from the Supreme Court, the Obama EPA has continued to flout the law and the Supreme Court, and continue to implement their illegal agenda,” Murray Energy said in official comments for the Federal Register. “It is deeply offensive to the Supreme Court, to the employees of Murray Energy and their families, and to the people of the United States of America to see the Obama EPA continue to promulgate this illegal CPP Incentive Program without any legal authority.”

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