We certainly applaud West Virginia for taking the lead in the lawsuit challenging the EPA. It appears that Obama’s last year in office is one where the EPA and other regulatory agencies are trying further choke business development in this country. I hope other industries challenge the EPA and other regulatory agencies that killing small businesses in this country.
An affiliation of 13 states, led by West Virginia, sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday over its regulations for oil and gas, calling the rules a “job-killing attack” on the nation’s oil and natural gas workers.
The lawsuit, filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (reviewed by Kallanish Energy), asks the court to examine EPA’s rule regulating methane emissions from new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas wells that use hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
“Petitioners will show that the final rule is in excess of the agency’s statutory authority and otherwise is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law,” according to the filing. “Accordingly, petitioners ask the court to hold unlawful and set aside the rule …”
The states argue the regulations impose an “unnecessary and burdensome” standard on the oil and natural gas industry, “while setting the stage for further limits on existing oil and gas operations before President Obama leaves office.”
“These rules will cause West Virginia coal miners to lose their jobs and West Virginians’ electricity bills to skyrocket,” according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “EPA’s actions will upset the careful balance of ensuring reliable, affordable electricity while encouraging job growth and responsible protection of the environment.”
The states argue the regulations “would raise production and distribution costs and, in turn, force an increase in consumer utility bills” by making fuel costs higher for power plants increasingly dependent on low-priced natural gas.”
The EPA itself predicts its regulations will cost $530 million in 2025, while other studies project the annual price tag may reach $800 million.
In addition to West Virginia, the lawsuit includes attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin, along with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.