Inhofe urges states to ignore latest EPA announcement

Published on June 21, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Allison Wood, partner at Hunton & Williams, urged states on Thursday to disregard the latest announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Inhofe and Wood said that the EPA’s latest announcement would only be applicable if the proposed Clean Power Plan and Clean Energy Incentive Program are passed into law. The Clean Power Plan may be thrown out, and Inhofe and Wood said that the EPA’s announcement was premature and a superfluous allocation of funds.

“EPA’s continued work on the Clean Energy Incentive Program is inconsistent with the stay and part of EPA’s last-ditch effort to save the president’s legacy carbon mandates,” Inhofe said. “States should not waste their resources or worry with the EPA’s latest actions. The agency has no respect for the rule of law or decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States and would rather progress a political priority at the expense of American taxpayers. The highest court in the land has already ruled that EPA’s activities are on legally vulnerable ground and states heeding the court’s direction should not fear penalty.”

Inhofe sent a letter to the EPA’s Acting Assistant Admin Janet McCabe on June 9 to gain clarification on the announcement. The EPA has yet to respond.

“The Clean Energy Incentive Program would not exist but for the Power Plan,” Wood said during a Senate EPW Committee meeting on June 9. “If the Power Plan is found unlawful, the Clean Energy Incentive Program has no purpose. As a public policy matter, expending funds on the creation of a program to support a rule that the Supreme Court has found to have ‘a fair prospect’ of being overturned is a poor use of limited resources. And forcing States and regulated entities to expend their limited resources on the creation of tools that may end up being for nothing—or run the risk of having no input into those tools—when the Supreme Court has given them relief in the form of a stay at a minimum violates the spirit of the stay if not the stay itself.”