The West Virginia Legislature is considering bills (HB 2004 and SB 4) that would give lawmakers oversight for how the state Department of Environmental Protection plans to meet the federal EPA’s sweeping plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, states must submit plans for reducing carbon emissions using “building blocks” established by the EPA. They include making coal-fired power plants more efficient, increasing the use of natural gas at power plants, using more alternative fuels, such as wind and solar, and increasing energy efficiency in homes and businesses…
Dr. David Schnare is legal counsel for the non-partisan Energy and Environmental Legal Institute, but before that he spent 33 years as an EPA regulator, enforcing the Clean Air Act. Schnare says the EPA does not have the authority to dictate to states where they get their energy as a method of reducing carbon.
“These policy choices are not EPA’s to make,” Schnare writes. “States—not EPA—are responsible for managing their energy resources through such measures as choosing what type of fuels or resources should be used to generate electricity and whether the limitation of energy consumption is a desirable policy.”