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Attorney General Knudsen files lawsuit against Biden administration Clean Air Act rule

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to declare President Biden’s new Clean Air Act rule, which will reduce states’ discretion on how to best regulate existing emissions sources including power plants and oil and gas wells, unlawful. The lawsuit is the 37th that Attorney General Knudsen has filed against the Biden administration.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule, “Adoption and Submittal of State Plans for Designated Facilities: Implementing Regulations Under Clean Air Act Section 111(d),” pertains to the procedures under which states submit state implementation plans as mandated by Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The rule exceeds the agency’s statutory authority and is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with the law.

“This is an attempt by the Biden administration to take power away from the states and force his woke green agenda on Americans as they continue their war on coal and affordable energy,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “When temperatures are below zero, wind and solar won’t keep warm. We need our coal-fired power plants that President Biden and his administration are hellbent on shutting down. As attorney general, I will continue to fight back against Joe Biden’s overreaching policies to do what’s best for Montanans.”

Under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, states must submit their plans for the establishment of implementation of standards of performance for existing emission sources. The rule is written to prevent states like Montana from granting flexibility to specific facilities for cost or technical reasons, giving states less discretion in deciding how existing sources can comply and with less time to comply.

Attorney General Knudsen and a coalition of attorneys general filed formal comments in February in opposition to the rule change.

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming joined the West Virginia- and Oklahoma-led petition—the Arizona Legislature and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality also joined the petition.

Read the lawsuit here.

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