In what can only be described as a case of deja vu, several states are once again suing President BarackObama’s Environmental Protection Agency for overstepping their bounds and issuing regulations that are outside of their statutory limits.
According to the Washington Examiner, 14 states, led by West Virginia, have filed a lawsuit with the D.C. Court of Appeals requesting the judges review new EPA rules governing levels of methane emissions from new, modified or reconstructed oil and gas wells utilized in hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.
The states claim that the new rules are not only “unnecessary and burdensome” to the energy production industry, but that they are also “setting the stage for further limits on existing oil and gas operations before President Obama leaves office.”
“This is yet another example of unlawful federal overreach jeopardizing West Virginia jobs and working families,” declared West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “The rules are a solution in search of a problem and ignore the industry’s success in voluntarily reducing methane emissions from these sources to a 30-year low.”
Should the EPA regulations be fully implemented, the lawsuit argued, they would raise cost of the fuel that power plants depend on, “would raise production and distribution costs and, in turn, force an increase in consumer utility bills.”
“The EPA itself predicts its regulations will cost $530 million in 2025, while other studies project the annual price tag may hit $800 million,” the suit states.
While West Virginia is largely known for its coal production, which has also been targeted by Obama’s EPA, the state is also a national leader in the production of natural gas from shale.
“The natural gas, pipeline and construction sectors provide thousands of jobs to hard-working West Virginians. Imposing unnecessary and costly regulations will jeopardize those jobs,” Morrisey’s office said in a statement.
West Virginia has been joined in the lawsuit by the attorneys general or pertinent energy/environmental representatives from: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
The courts have not hesitated to smack down the overreaching EPA numerous times before, so hopefully that trend will continue and these job-killing, anti-energy independence regulations will be swept aside before they raise costs for consumers.