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12 states sue EPA over coal plant rule

A dozen states led by West Virginia and Virginia sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to block a proposed rule that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The states contend a U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits the EPA from issuing power plant rules under one section of the Clean Air Act, when it has already regulated them under a separate section. The agency previously used the act to regulate hazardous air pollutants in 2012, according to the filing.

“This is a laughable lawsuit,” said David Doniger, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which supports the EPA’s efforts. “I don’t think the courts will take more than 15 minutes to dismiss this.”

Doniger added that the challenge is premature because the proposal has yet to become a final rule.

The states listed as co-filers by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey include Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming.

The filing of the lawsuit couldn’t immediately be confirmed on the federal court website.

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