Fox asks EPA to Reconsider Carbon Rule

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Fox asks EPA to Reconsider Carbon Rule

Today, Attorney General Tim Fox asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider the final carbon emission rule adopted in August. The final rule differs dramatically from the rule proposed in June, 2014, and an array of business and community leaders, unions, and public officials have expressed frustration over the changes. After the final rule was announced, Montana and 26 other states filed suit in federal court to overturn it. That litigation is moving forward and the petition for reconsideration is a separate action.

“It was disingenuous for the EPA to propose one rule and then adopt something far different, especially since the final rule is much more burdensome to the people of Montana,” Fox said. “The state invested time and resources into evaluating options under the proposed rule, and the adopted rule rendered that work all but useless.”

In the request, Fox pointed to several reasons why the EPA should reconsider the rule:

-The final rule differs so significantly and substantially from the proposed rule that Montana did not have a fair opportunity to evaluate, understand and comment on the rule actually adopted.

-The EPA acted without a fair working knowledge of the impacts of the final rule in Montana.

-The changes in the final rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act because they are not a logical outgrowth of the proposed rule. Therefore, Montana could not have reasonably anticipated those changes.

-The method used for calculating Montana’s carbon reduction target was based on a formula that disregarded our state’s energy production portfolio.

“The bottom line is that Montana did not have a fair opportunity to evaluate and comment on the provisions of the final rule,” Fox said. “In light of our concerns, the EPA should reconsider its action and put the final rule on hold during that reconsideration process.”

Montana’s petition for reconsideration, which was produced with input from the Department of Environmental Quality, is available online here.

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