Coal company sues EPA over climate rules

Coal mining company Murray Energy Corp. said it has filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop its carbon emissions rules for power plants, calling them “illegal, irrational, and destructive cap-and-tax regulations.”

Murray filed its lawsuit in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Wednesday, the same day the proposal was formally published in the Federal Register.

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“This is clearly an illegal attempt by the Obama EPA to impose irrational and destructive cap-and-tax mandates, which Congress and the American people have consistently rejected,” Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent, said in a statement.

“These proposed rules will cause immediate and irreparable harm to Americans, including our citizens on fixed incomes and our manufacturers of products that compete in the global marketplace,” he said.

Courts usually can only review regulations after they are made final, which EPA does not plan to do for another year.

But Murray argued in its court filing that the courts have “undoubted authority to prohibit unlawful actions before they are taken in extraordinary circumstances.” EPA is obviously acting beyond its power in this case, which warrants court action before the rule is made final, Murray said.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia declined to comment on the specific lawsuit, but pointed to recent statements from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that the Obama administration is not fighting a “war on coal.” Additionally, EPA predicts that coal would still provide 31 percent of the country’s electricity in 2030 under the rule.

Murray vowed to fight the rule shortly after it was released June 2.

Murray has filed lawsuits against other Obama administration policies that they say harm the industry, such as new limits on coal dust exposure for miners.

Miners from Murray attended a Senate hearing Wednesday about the federal government’s role in reduction carbon pollution.

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