Last Call for Cooperative Federalism? Why EPA Must Withdraw SIP Call Proposal on Startup, Shutdown, and Maintenance
by Patrick Morrisey, Randy Huffman, Elbert Lin
Washington Legal Foundation
September 16, 2013
Since January 20, 2008, the Obama Administration has waged an escalating and legally suspect war on coal. In five years, federal regulation of coal extraction and utilization has dramatically increased, resulting in increased energy costs for all Americans and many lost jobs. But perhaps most troubling is the way that this increase in federal regulation has happened. Rather than working within the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has acted well beyond its authority. One example of this EPA’s overreach is its proposed rule regarding emissions during power plant startup, shutdown, and maintenance (“SSM”). On February 22, 2013, EPA proposed to require more than two-thirds of the states to revise previously approved State Implementation Plans (“SIPs”) through a “SIP Call.” It is an unlawful exercise of administrative authority that, if adopted, would substantially and adversely affect the country’s energy-producing states.