State Attorneys General Band Together To Fight Obama Clean Power Bill

U.S. President Barack Obama's proposed "Clean Power Bill" is going to meet a lot of legal challenges, starting with attorneys general from 14 states so far.

West Virginia's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey met with other attorneys general from across the country in White Sulphur Springs Monday, calling the president's new rule illegal and vowing to fight it in court.

"Attempts absolutely must be stopped," said Morrisey, speaking to reporters at The Greenbrier Monday.

Several state's attorneys general are condemning the Obama administration's finalized "Clean Power Plan."

"It goes far beyond what Congress has authorized," said Greg Zoeller, who is Indiana's attorney general.

"He's trying to bankrupt coal and he's been succeeding," Morrisey said.

On the White House's official site, this message from the president: "The biggest, most important step we've ever taken to combat climate change."

Morrisey said "they're moving forward on the basis of their policy actions, but what they're doing is blatantly illegal."

West Virginia's attorney general said the rule represents the most far-reaching energy regulation in this nation's history, drawn-up by radical bureaucrats and based upon an obscure, rarely used provision of the Clean Air Act.

Indiana's attorney general agreed.

"This is really the states asking the judiciary to look and see, whether the EPA has again exceeded its authority under what Congress allows," Zoeller said.

Chris Hamilton, senior vice president with the West Virginia Coal Association, had a strong reaction.

"First blush, the rules are more Draconian than what was proposed," Hamilton said. "And there's just no question about the devastating effects it's going to have on coal producing states."

Especially states like West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, which still rely heavily on coal to fuel their industrial and home power needs. West Virginia alone has lost 18 coal-fired power units, 400 more across the country, Hamilton said.

Coal is the Mountain State's No. 1 export abroad and to states all along the eastern United States.

Morrisey said Obama has elected to "not go to Congress and try to do this the right way. They're trying a lot of legal mumbo jumbo and doing end-runs around the Constitution. We're not going to let that happen. I think we have an excellent chance of prevailing in court."