- Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced over the weekend that she intends to join a multi-state legal challenge to the Obama administration's recently-finalized Clean Power Plan.
- States are waiting for the final regulations to be published in the Federal Register, at which point the lawsuit will be filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
- Coffman said the CPP, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, would cost the state jobs and higher utility rates before being fully vetted by the court system.
The final regulations have not been published yet, but when they are the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan is expected to face multiple legal challenges. In a press release posted to Facebook, Colorado AG Coffman said her state would join the opposition, arguing that the legality of the emissions reduction plan needs to be tested before moving ahead with changes to the energy industry that cannot be undone.
"The rule is an unprecedented attempt to expand the federal government’s regulatory control over the states' energy economy,” Coffman said in a statement. “The EPA appears unwilling to accept limits set by Congress in the Clean Air Act and instead is pushing its agenda forward through regulatory rewrites that overreach its legal authority.”
According to Coffman, it is unclear when the final regulations will be published in the Federal Register but they are several states will move quickly to file.
"The face of Colorado's economy could be forever changed and that will be reflected in lost jobs, higher utility rates, and an altered energy industry," Coffman said. "Before untold sums of public and private monies are spent on compliance with the Clean Power Plan, we need to settle the matter of whether it is even legal."
The Colorado Mining Association issued a statement in support of Coffman's decision, saying the regulations are "legally flawed, will cost Colorado jobs, and threaten the reliability of the electrical grid by mandating a wholesale restructuring of our electricity system for no appreciable benefit to the climate."
Environment Colorado criticized the decision to join the lawsuit, however, calling it "contrary to Coloradans’ values of clean air and water and addressing climate change."
"The irony is that Colorado is well positioned to meet the goals of the clean power plan because of Colorado’s leadership on expanding renewable energy, energy efficiency and promoting a cleaner energy future," said Conservation Colorado Deputy Director Carrie Curtiss.