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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and the state Legislature are taking a stand against Obama administration climate rules.
Fallin signed an executive order this week saying her state will not comply with a proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule setting targets for carbon emission reduction at power plants. Republicans have said the plan is an unfair expansion of executive power.
Fallin's order prohibits the state's Department of Environmental Quality from writing a strategy to reduce carbon emissions under the Clean Power Plan.
It directs the state's attorney general, himself an opponent of the plan, to analyze the legality of the climate rule and "take such action as is necessary to enforce the rights of the state of Oklahoma and its citizens from such federal actions as may impact the freedoms of its people."
"As Governor, I will not submit [a plan] to ensure Oklahoma's compliance with such a clear overreach of executive authority," Fallin's order said.
Oklahoma is the first state to definitely say it will not comply with the rule. States that don't write their own climate plans will receive implementation guidelines from the federal government.
Declining to comply with the rule is a strategy being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has questioned the legality of the climate rule. But the Oklahoma chapter of the Sierra Club slammed the decision as "adding more bureaucratic roadblocks" to better climate protections.
"Without a state implementation plan, Governor Fallin will force the EPA to swoop in and create a federal solution for our state," Oklahoma Sierra Club Director Johnson Bridgewater told The Norman Transcript. "And while Oklahoma and some other states are pushing back against the EPA, it is important to note that many states are fully backing what the EPA is doing at the state level."
Also this week, the Oklahoma Senate sent Fallin a bill meant to put up barriers to writing a climate plan by giving some state officials review power over it, the Tulsa World reports. Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has sued the federal government over the plan, is among them.
"The state of Oklahoma is sending a clear signal that we will not comply with the EPA’s unlawful Clean Power Plan," Pruitt said in a statement. "This bill will assist the state in defending its interests against the EPA’s unlawful actions."
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