Attorney General Jason Miyares (R), announced Wednesday night that Virginia will leave a multi-state coalition supporting the Environmental Protection Agencys’ (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases emissions from power plants.
Miyares, who assumed office this weekend, TweetVirginia will not be participating in the case West Virginia vs. EPA. This is because it could be detrimental for coal jobs in southwestern Virginia.
The lawsuit is currently pending before U.S. Supreme Court. 19 states, led principally West Virginia, argued that the EPA doesn’t have the authority to enact Obama-era Clean Power Plan. CPP required that states reduce their electricity generation emissions by 32 percent by 2030.
Mark Herring, a former Virginia Attorney General, joined a briefing in August from a separate coalition representing 23 attorneys general who supported the EPA in the case.
In a LetterWednesday’s confirmation by Andrew Ferguson, Virginia Solicitor General, that the state had reversed its position in the case was confirmed by Ferguson.
After the January 15th, 2022 change in Administration, the Attorney General reexamined Virginias position on this case. He wrote that Virginia no longer believes that the EPA’s repeal of CPP was illegal. Virginia is still a respondent under Supreme Court Rule 12. It supports the petitioners arguments in this instance.
Ferguson cited precedent set by the Supreme Courts case against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for business. He stated that the Supreme Court ruling required congressional approval to authorize agencies to implement policy at such an expansive level.
After Republicans won statewide races for Virginia’s 2021 elections in 2016, the newly-inaugurated governor. Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinVirginia withdraws from multi-state alliance backing EPA climate lawsuit Virginia universities lift vaccine mandats after Youngkin’s ord Jill Biden increases her communications team in the lead-up to midterm election MORE(R) has also taken steps to reverse the policies of his Democratic predecessors in the environment.
He announced that Virginia would be removed from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon market for East Coast states, while he was still governor-elect. Andrew WheelerAndrew WheelerVirginia leaves multi-state alliance backing EPA in climate suit Overnight Energy & Environment Lummis is held up Biden EPA selects 150 ex-EPA employees to ask Virginia legislators to oppose Wheeler’s nominationas the Secretary of Natural Resources for the States.
Virginia Democrats, who maintained their majority in the state senator, have pledged to fight Youngkin on both sides. They argued that Youngkin cannot unilaterally withdraw from the RGGI as Virginia entered it legislatively.