Morrisey, 19 states challenge EPA at Supreme Court

December 20, 2021 – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced on Monday his office and a coalition of 19 states are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency at the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Morrisey, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the states’ challenge to an appeals court ruling that would give EPA virtually unlimited authority to regulate wide swaths of everyday life.

During a press conference Monday, Attorney General Morrisey was joined by Chris Hamilton, president of the West Virginia Coal Association; Jason Bostic, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association; Bryan Brown, principal and owner of Bryan Brown Communications; Mike Clowser, executive director at Contractors Association of West Virginia; and Jared Wyrick, president of West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association to announce the legal action.

“Our case is one of the most important cases before the Supreme Court this session and the outcome would have a ripple effect across the nation and hit West Virginia particularly hard,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “If West Virginia prevails in our case, Congress will decide important questions related to our economy, the power grid, climate change, and more—just as the Constitution intended it to do. If not, then EPA can arbitrarily implement regulations that increase utility bills, create job losses, close down coal plants and much worse.”

Attorney General Morrisey said at issue is an error by a lower court in which it read a narrow provision of federal law as granting EPA broad authority to unilaterally decarbonize virtually any sector of the economy, including factories and power plants.

Among other things, the coalition argues that this is such a substantially important question that an administrative agency such as EPA cannot decide it unless Congress clearly says it can, according to Attorney General Morrisey.

The coalition also says that Congress must speak in even plainer terms before an agency can be allowed to upset the balance of power between the federal government and the states.

Attorney General Morrisey, in leading the 19-state coalition, said he urged the Supreme Court to take the case in April, arguing the appeals court had ignored the February 2016 stay.

West Virginia led the brief with support from attorneys general in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and the governor of Mississippi.

By WDTV News Staff
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