Montana Attorney General Tim Fox issued a press release on Friday, stating that Montana will join a lawsuit with other states to challenge the EPA's overreach regarding carbon emissions. 

Attorney General Tim Fox announced today that Montana, along with 23 other states, filed a lawsuit challenging the Obama Administration’s unlawful plan to radically restructure the way electricity is produced and consumed throughout the country.

The Rule, as promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would result in dramatically higher electricity bills and significantly less reliable service for families, businesses, hospitals and schools across America.  Attorney General Fox was joined by Senator Steve Daines at this morning’s announcement at the Attorney General’s Office in Helena.

“Once again, the EPA has overstepped its rule-making authority granted by Congress, this time seeking to impose an unworkable, technically unfounded, and legally invalid national energy policy on the states,” Attorney General Tim Fox said.  “The new regulations don’t bode well for states like Montana, which relies on abundant and inexpensive coal for stable, affordable electricity, or for the members and residents of the Crow Indian Reservation, who are also Montanans, and who rely on benefits from the mining of coal within their Reservation.  The states have a right to develop, use, and market their natural resources for the benefits of their citizens and the communities they live in.  Resource development and protecting our environment are not mutually exclusive.  Our ability to do this is vital to Montana’s future, and we felt it was imperative for us to join in the challenge of this rule.”

The Rule purports to require States to reorganize their energy grids, in order to reduce carbon emissions from electric-generating plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.   The Rule could cost over $25 billion annually and these costs will ultimately be paid by consumers who could see their electric bills go up by 10% or more.

The Rule will also cause coal miners, union workers, and other hardworking people to lose their jobs, concentrating the pain from the unlawful rule on those who can least afford it.

In the documents filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, The States make clear that EPA has no legal authority to promulgate or enforce the 111(d) Rule.  

“States have argued to the EPA for more than a year that the Rule is illegal for multiple reasons,” Attorney General Fox added.  “In particular, the EPA lacks authority to force States to fundamentally restructure their power portfolio to consume less coal-fired energy.  The Rule is also illegal because it seeks to require States to regulate coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, even though the EPA already regulates those same plants under Section 112 of the Act.  This results in double regulation, which is flat out prohibited by the Clean Air Act.”

The States challenging the Rule include West Virginia, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the Arizona Corporation Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.