As your attorney general, I have always kept my promise to push back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed policies and plans that would cost Kentucky jobs and hurt Kentucky families. And I’m pleased that our efforts in the Office of the Attorney General to fight these overly burdensome and overreaching regulations are making a real difference.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn the EPA’s air pollution rules is a direct result of a lawsuit that I filed with 22 of my fellow attorneys generals, and the decision is a big win for Kentucky.
The court ruled that the EPA acted “unreasonably” when it failed to consider costs in developing a new regulation that required existing power plants to retrofit their emissions systems at great expense to Kentucky ratepayers and business owners. Simply put, this regulation — known as the MATS regulation — would have cost Kentucky jobs and raised electricity rates for Kentuckians. That’s why I’m so proud of my office’s work on this case and the Court’s decision that resulted from it.
For the first time, the Supreme Court reigned in President Obama’s EPA in a way that truly matters to Kentucky. Evidence presented to the Court by Kentucky and other states indicated that power plants around the country — including those here in Kentucky — would bear costs of $9.6 billion per year if this regulation went unchecked. Kentucky’s historically low energy rates are critical to keeping Kentucky competitive and attracting jobs to the commonwealth, and that kind of price tag would seriously damage our economy and hinder job growth.
Time and again, I have stood with Kentucky’s coal industry against the EPA. In fact, I’m proud to be the only Democratic Attorney General in the country who has sued the EPA to try to stop their proposed job-killing coal regulations known as the Clean Power Plan. And, as your attorney general, I’m going to keep suing them, because coal-mining jobs are good-paying jobs in our eastern and western Kentucky counties, and on policies that hurt our coal communities, I will fight the EPA every step of the way.
Finally, last week, a group of fellow attorneys general and I, again, sued the EPA over a new rule that we believe unlawfully gives the federal government more power to regulate farms, new development and streams. This rule could have serious consequences for Kentucky homeowners and farmers by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks like digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers.
This finalized rule, in my opinion, is illegal. It goes against the intent of the Clean Water Act by taking power away from individual states to develop their own strategies to comply with regulations. By challenging this rule, I will continue to fight a long-term battle regarding an overreach by the EPA under this administration, just as I’ll continue to make the decisions that put people over politics.