This week, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is scheduled to hear arguments from 16 states, including Kentucky, that challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s sweeping new greenhouse gas regulations. According to the states, the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was enacted illegally without independent scientific review, as required by the Clear Air Act.
This is not the only run-in Kentucky has had with federal agencies overstepping their boundaries. In October 2010, Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Coal Association (KCA) filed suit against the EPA for blocking 11 water permits in the Appalachian region which were approved by the Kentucky Division of Environmental Protection.
According to KCA President, Bill Bissett, the economic uncertainty created by the EPA’s unilateral rulings only serve to make electricity more expensive for Kentuckians and cost the state desperately needed jobs:
Kentucky benefits from one of the lowest cost per kilowatt rates in the nation. When Gov. Beshear travels to India to lure manufacturers to the commonwealth, one of the first things he talks about is Kentucky’s rate per kilowatt hour. Kentucky continues to benefit by retaining manufacturing that many other states have lost not to other states but to other countries. If electric utility rates increase because of environmental surcharges, it will damage the state’s ability to attract manufactures and likely cause manufacturers – like aluminum companies – to consider overseas locations.
We’ll continue to follow these lawsuits as they develop.