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State Attorneys General Target EPA Incentives For Renewable Energy

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A component of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan that the agency says is optional is being attacked by 25 state attorneys general, including Montana’s. 

The E.P.A.’s Clean Power Plan was put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court in February, but the agency says it can still offer states incentives for early, voluntary investments in renewable energy, like wind and solar.

But the group of attorneys general that includes Montana’s Tim Fox says that when the Supreme Court put the Clean Power Plan strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on hold, the E.P.A. should have suspended work on all of the plan.

“And so they are doing this in complete disregard for the Supreme Court’s order, which is something that I have not seen before. It could potently get the federal government in trouble with the federal courts,” Fox said.

The attorneys general filed their criticism on the last day public comment was open on the Clean Energy Incentive Program on Tuesday.

Fox says if the E.P.A. doesn’t actually finalize or try to implement the incentive program, the agency would probably be within the law, but says the federal court could come down on the agency for even proposing the rule.

The Clean Power Plan is currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Corin Cates-Carney is the news director at Montana Public Radio. He joined MTPR in 2015 and is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism.
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