MT AG testifies on EPA overreach
On February 26, 2014, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox appeared before the Interior Subcommittee of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He provided testimony on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations and their impacts on the states.
“I am grateful to Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) for inviting me to appear before the subcommittee. The EPA has proposed a variety of significant regulations that reach beyond the agency’s authority under the law, and those regulations could kill Montana jobs and hurt our economy. When the EPA held ‘listening sessions’ around the country to discuss some of these proposals, we invited the agency to hold a session here in Montana where the impacts would be felt the most. Unfortunately, they refused to do so. Montana’s perspective needs to be heard,” Fox said in a news release.
In November, Fox and 16 other state attorneys general submitted comments to the EPA highlighting that the agency is attempting to use the Clean Air Act to bypass Congress and impose a federal energy policy on the states. They also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled and even an EPA legal memo have conceded that the agency lacks the authority to regulate existing power plants under rule 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
In other comments submitted to the EPA, Fox and Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote discussed how the proposed regulations would kill demand for coal mined by the Crow Nation and therefore cripple the economy on the reservation.
Fox also submitted comments to the EPA on its sweeping “Waters of the U.S.” proposal, which would dramatically expand the agency’s authority over bodies of water in Montana. Fox told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Army Secretary John McHugh that the proposed regulations exceed the agency’s rule-making authority under the Clean Water Act and impinge upon Montana’s sovereignty under the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney General Fox’s written testimony submitted to the committee is available online.