St. Paul, MINN— On Thursday, October 29, 2015, Representative Dan Fabian (R-Roseau) sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson asking her to add Minnesota to a coalition of 25 states who have filed suit in the last week against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over President Obama's Clean Power Plan.
A previous letter was sent to the Attorney General's office in late September, signed by Rep. Fabian and 43 other state representatives, which requested Attorney General Swanson take action against this overreaching federal rule. Her office responded that this could not be done until the rule was published in the Federal Register, which it was on October 23, 2015.
"This expensive and burdensome new rule, which the EPA has conceded will have no measurable environmental benefit, greatly expands federal authority over state energy policy and will impact the availability of affordable energy for folks across the state," said Rep. Fabian. "Twenty-five states have already filed suit which demonstrates just how overreaching and devastating President Obama's Clean Power Plan is. This is a bipartisan issue that has people across the nation concerned, and that's why now is the time for Minnesota to lead and stand up for the people of our state."
The full letter reads as follows:
Dear Attorney General Swanson,
On September 29, 2015, your office responded to a letter sent by myself and forty-three other state representatives asking the Attorney General to add Minnesota to the growing coalition of states challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a federal court regarding President Obama's Clean Power Plan, issued under the agency's 111(d) rulemaking authority. You indicated that your office would consult with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regarding the rule, as well as wait for it to be published by the Federal Register.
This overreaching new rule is now in effect, having been published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015. Furthermore, you have had ample time to consult with the MPCA in regards to the effects these new federal guidelines will have on our state. That is why I would like to once again ask you to challenge this rule in a federal court on behalf of the state of Minnesota.
As I stated before, not only will this significantly expanded scope of federal power under EPA rulemaking undermine state regulatory authority, but it will also impact the availability of affordable energy for families, businesses and communities statewide. Additionally, there is a possibility that its implementation could lead to the closure of coal-fired power plants in our state, creating significant job loss and increased energy costs. These price increases will most greatly affect those who can least afford it including people with low or fixed incomes, the elderly, local schools and nursing homes.
Furthermore, the EPA conceded there will be no measurable environmental benefit which calls to question the validity of implementing these expensive, overreaching new federal requirements when there is little expected positive environmental results.
Twenty-five states have already filed suit against the Clean Power Plan in the last week, and by joining as a plaintiff, Minnesota will be a strong voice for state regulatory authority, protect Minnesota jobs and energy reliability, and hopefully help stop the alarming expansion of federal power over state energy policy.
I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.
Dan Fabian, 01A