Obama to publish climate change rule, sparking legal fight

Obama to publish climate change rule, sparking legal fight
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President Obama’s landmark climate change regulation for power plants will be published on Friday, opening the door to challenges in Congress and the federal court system.

The challenges are expected to begin shortly after the rule appears in the Federal Register.

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The publication of the rule comes nearly three months after Obama unveiled the regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The attorneys general of about 15 conservative states, led by West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey, plan to file lawsuits against the rule shortly after it appears, claiming in federal court that the EPA is violating the Clean Air Act with the regulation.

“With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies,” Morrisey said after the August unveiling.

“The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution.”

Additionally, congressional Republicans are likely to propose resolutions under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the rule. Obama has promised to veto any such action.

The rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, mandates a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions, through individual state targets that state regulators are responsible for meeting.

In a notice posted Thursday morning, the Office of the Federal Register said the regulation would appear in Friday’s edition.

The EPA’s opponents had cried foul when the regulation was not immediately published in the Register, claiming that the Obama administration was trying to delay challenges to it.

Morrisey and his allies filed a lawsuit against the regulation in federal court in August. But the judges dismissed his challenge as premature, since the rule was not in the Register yet.