U.S. Chamber Files Lawsuit Challenging EPA's Unprecedented Attempt to Restructure Nation's Electricity System

Press Release
October 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by over a dozen business groups, today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act—an unprecedented takeover of the electricity sector. Because the rule is already causing irreparable harm to businesses and communities across the country, the Chamber also asked the D.C. Circuit to stay implementation of the rule until judicial review has been completed. To see the filings, please click here. A group of 24 states also filed suit against the EPA’s rule.

“The EPA’s rule is unlawful and a bad deal for America. It will drive up electricity costs for businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness—without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “According to EPA’s own predictions, if this rule is allowed to go into effect on EPA’s schedule, numerous electricity plants will be forced to shut down within the next year, causing job losses in communities throughout the country.”

The Chamber has argued that EPA failed to take into account the serious concerns expressed by states and industry regarding the rule’s implementation, fairness, and legality. The Chamber supports further environmental progress guided by what has already worked: gains in efficiency, new technologies, market-based increases in the use of natural gas and renewable fuels, a continued role for nuclear power, and improved processes for developing and using our nation’s vast coal and oil and gas resources. Indeed, the United States is the only major country that has actually and substantially reduced its CO2 emissions while continuing to grow its economy.

“Not only are these regulations bad for our economy, they also represent a massive executive power grab,” Donohue explained. “EPA completely bypassed the legislative branch, basing its 2,000-page rule on roughly 300 words in the Clean Air Act and including a host of policies that have already been considered and rejected by Congress.”

The Chamber has been joined in the lawsuit by the National Association of Manufacturers, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Federation of Independent Business, American Chemistry Council, American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, American Foundry Society, American Forest and Paper Association, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Wood Council, Brick Industry Association, Electricity Consumers Resource Council, Lignite Energy Council, National Lime Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and Portland Cement Association.