DENR Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart Comments on the Supreme Court's EPA Ruling

RALEIGH - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unreasonably interpreted the Clean Air Act when it deemed cost irrelevant to their 2012 decision to regulate power plants. Monday’s decision sending the EPA’s rule-making back to the federal agency came two and a half years after the rule was enacted, and after states and public utilities had already spent considerable resources implementing a rule the EPA issued in violation of the law. “Today’s ruling illustrates once again that the EPA gets rule-making wrong as often as not, and that the federal agency insists that States and ratepayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing a rule that is not legally sound,” said Secretary van der Vaart. "This ruling emphasizes the need for EPA to include a 'legal trigger’ approach in regards to the Clean Power Plan until judicial review is completed in order to protect the state’s finite resources. Proceeding with a legally flawed rule before the judicial process is complete would significantly increase costs to utility ratepayers to implement a rule, like the MATs rule, that could ultimately be struck down.”

North Carolina is projected to meet the federal 30% carbon dioxide reduction goals set by President Obama by 2030 without the Clean Power Plan. Since 2005, North Carolina has reduced carbon dioxide emission from electric utilities by 20%.


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