The 16 states and a handful of others are preparing to sue the Obama administration to block the rules permanently by arguing they exceed Obama’s authority. Bolstered by a recent Supreme Court ruling against the administration’s mercury limits, opponents argued that states shouldn’t have to start preparing to comply with a rule that may eventually get thrown out by the courts.
Lawmakers voted 247-180 to support a bill allowing states to opt out of the Obama administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state’s governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.
Republicans say the new regulations, announced last week, will delay new drilling projects and take marginal lands out of production. Democratic lawmakers say the regulations are so mild that they won’t change current operating standards.
In an op-ed published Tuesday in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says states should reject Obama’s proposed requirements for power plants to reduce carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas.
In December, the commission required oil companies that ship millions of gallons of crude a week by rail to reduce the oil’s volatility by removing certain liquids and gases before it’s loaded onto train cars.
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