Attorney General Doug Peterson says the EPA has exceeded the authority granted by Congress in proposing carbon emissions be cut by nearly a third from what they were in 2005.
Under the new rules, states must begin to comply by 2022. The deadline for full compliance is 2030.
Peterson insists the EPA has gone well beyond the authority Congress granted the agency in 1970 when it passed the Clean Air Act.
“We have the Environmental Protection Agency taking regulations and expanding their authority and creating emission guidelines that will be virtually impossible for us to meet and we believe it’s way outside the scope of their authority,” Peterson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Peterson says the states and the federal government have worked well together to reduce pollution since the Clean Air Act passed.
He says the EPA has upset that balance.
“We’re very confident that we can get a fair hearing on this in our federal court system to show that the EPA went too far,” Peterson says.
While the challenge relies on legal arguments, practical reasons motivate many of the states. Peterson says it is virtually impossible for Nebraska to meet the new guidelines.
The states joining the lawsuit generally are coal-dependent. Approximately 70% of Nebraska’s energy is generated by coal-fired power plants. Other Midwestern states are even more coal-dependent.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]