FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 9, 2024) – Attorney General Russell Coleman challenged the Biden Administration’s effort to shut down Kentucky’s coal and natural gas power plants today. Twenty-five attorneys general joined the fight to protect affordable energy, preserve electric grid reliability and safeguard American security. The challenge to the EPA rule, which amounts to the Clean Power Plan 2.0, was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

In April, the Biden Administration unleashed its latest package of job-killing energy regulations that would drive up prices on Kentucky families. Worst among the rules was EPA’s new regulation regarding greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The restriction essentially dusted-off an Obama-era rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark decision, West Virginia v. EPA (2022)In that case, the Supreme Court blocked the EPA from using a narrow regulatory provision to force coal-fired plants to shut down.

If allowed to take effect, the Biden Administration’s devastating energy rule would target existing coal plants and new natural gas plants with extreme emissions restrictions. The EPA’s crackdown would demand Kentucky’s coal-fired plants take aggressive steps to curb emissions or force them to close. The government’s recommendations for cutting emissions rely on experimental and costly technologies that haven’t been proven to work.

 As of 2022, coal and gas accounted for 95% of Kentucky’s electricity. The Biden Administration’s rush to take existing plants offline in favor of alternative energy sources undermines the reliability of Kentucky’s grid and could leave families and manufacturers without access to affordable electricity.

“Hope is not a strategy, especially when our jobs and our families are on the line. Simply hoping that unproven technologies will be able to fuel Kentucky’s economy is irresponsible,” said Attorney General Coleman. “The result of President Biden’s rule is clear: Kentucky families and job-creators will be cut off from affordable and reliable energy. We’re fighting this radical green agenda that would only leave Kentucky in the dark.”

Kentucky’s electric cooperatives, which serve 1.8 million residents across the Commonwealth, are sounding the alarm about the consequences of the EPA’s burdensome restrictions for the future of Kentucky energy.

“As member-owned cooperatives, we have a duty to fight for the Kentuckians at the end of the line who pay the price when bureaucrats carelessly inflict unrealistic and harmful regulations. The EPA’s rule is an assault on the electric reliability Kentucky relies on to keep our communities safe, healthy and prosperous,” said Kentucky Electric Cooperatives President and CEO Chris Perry. “We are grateful for Attorney General Coleman and the coalition of attorneys general standing up for ratepayers in Kentucky and all across America.”  

According to East Kentucky Power Cooperative, the new rule could cause residential customers to see up to a 96% increase in their utility bills.

“EPA’s attempt to force wide adoption of emerging carbon capture/sequestration technology will be disastrous for America’s electric grid. EPA’s final GHG rule will force the cost of electricity in the U.S. to skyrocket, making it unaffordable for those most at risk, while also making electric service unreliable for Americans and driving manufacturing overseas,” saidEast Kentucky Power Cooperative President and CEO Anthony “Tony” Campbell. We commend Attorney General Coleman for fighting for Kentucky, and we support his challenge to this misguided regulation.”

Meanwhile, new coal plant construction hit an eight-year high in China last year.

“Our adversaries and competitors around the globe are investing in proven energy sources to fuel their economic growth,” Attorney General Coleman continued. “By forcing the United States to rush toward unproven and unreliable energy sources, President Biden is undermining our national security and our leadership on the world stage.”

Attorney General Coleman joined the West Virginia and Indiana-led challenge, along with attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Read the challenge.