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Press Release

19-State Petition Urges Supreme Court to Limit EPA Authority, Protect Jobs

April 29, 2021

(Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Treg Taylor joined a 19-state coalition Thursday in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take swift action to stop an appeals court ruling that would give the Environmental Protection Agency virtually unlimited authority to regulate wide swaths of everyday life with rules that would devastate coal mining, increase energy costs, and eliminate countless jobs.

The coalition’s petition, filed Thursday, argues a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit violates the constitutional separation of powers. It contends the lower court inappropriately interpreted the Clean Air Act as authorizing EPA to sidestep Congress to exercise broad regulatory power that would radically transform the nation’s energy grid and force states to shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.

The coalition argues the lower court erred in using a narrow provision of law to grant EPA broad authority – without congressional input – to decarbonize virtually any sector of the economy, including factories and power plants, as well as millions of homes and small businesses that use natural gas for heat. 

Attorney General Treg Taylor says, “Without the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention, this lower court ruling could lead to decisions of great economic consequence based upon unlawful EPA regulations, not the rule of law.”

Although Alaska was exempted from the original rule leading to the lawsuit, the appellate court’s decision could have broad implications for the interpretation of the Clean Air Act, which could adversely impact Alaska down the road. The Attorney General felt it was important to get out in front of the issue now before the new federal administration adopts a rule that is expected to be even more expansive in its reach.

Alaska joined Thursday’s petition with support from attorneys general in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming and the governor of Mississippi.

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Department Media Contact: Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Rand.