Iowa attorney general defends Clean Power Plan

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
KC McGinnis | March 31, 2016

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has joined the defense of the Environmental Protection Agency in its legal challenge to uphold the Clean Power Plan against the State of West Virginia, which opposes the plan in part because it claims it will hurt the economies of coal states like itself.

In advance of oral arguments to be heard in the United States Court of Appeals on June 2, Miller has joined 17 other state attorneys general in a brief defending the Clean Power Plan. Among its arguments is that states have “a compelling and urgent interest in reducing dangerous carbon-dioxide pollution from the largest source of those emissions: fossil-fueled power plants.”

Iowa’s role in the case is unique as it currently produces the highest percentage of wind energy production per capita in the country, which has contributed to a moderate deceleration in fossil-fuel growth. In 2013, for the first time ever, fossil-fueled power plants were not the top emitter of carbon dioxide equivalent in the state (the agriculture sector now holds that title). This continued into 2014.

Opponents of the Clean Power Plan claim it is an overreach of the Clean Air Act. The brief signed by Miller, however, claims that the Clean Power Plan is an important step for the EPA in fulfilling key goals of the Clean Air Act, which requires the EPA to establish a nationwide framework for carbon-dioxide emission reductions.

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