WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey files new lawsuit - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey files new lawsuit

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is filing a new lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.

After the threat of thousands of layoffs at Alpha Natural Resources, West Virginia is not the only state taking action.

"This lawsuit represents another effort by our office to invalidate the EPA's proposed rule that will have devastating effects on West Virginia's jobs and its economy," Morrisey said in a news release Aug. 1. "Our Office will use every legal tool available to protect coal miners and their families from the Obama Administration and its overreach. We can't afford to see more announcements like we saw with Alpha Natural Resources yesterday."

A group of 12 states are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

Entered into in 2011, the settlement agreement committed EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The former lawsuit contends that the agreement is illegal because coal-fired power plants already are regulated under a separate section of the Clean Air Act and the law expressly prohibits the double regulation of such plants.

The group of states are challenging the settlement agreement now that EPA has chosen to follow through with its illegal promise. A ruling that EPA made an unlawful commitment could force EPA to abandon its currently pending rule.

Alpha Natural Resources notified 1,100 employees on Thursday of potential layoffs and reduced operations at 11 of its mines across the state.

West Virginia was joined in the lawsuit by a bipartisan group of states including Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.