Wisconsin plans to sue EPA over rule on carbon emissions

After the EPA issued its final rule Monday for cutting carbon emissions from power plants, Wisconsin officials quickly denounced the rules and announced the state’s intentions to fight the regulations in court.

The Clean Power Plan rules would force Wisconsin power plants to cut annual average carbon emissions 33.9% by 2030 based on a 2012 baseline. Nationally, the plan aims to cut emissions by 32% between a 2005 baseline and 2030.

Gov. Scott Walker was critical of the plan and state Attorney General Brad Schimel confirmed Wisconsin will be among a number of states planning to sue the federal government to stop the rule.

“Based on our initial understanding of the final rule,” Schimel said, “the Clean Power Plan will be detrimental to Wisconsin’s economy by dramatically increasing residential and business electricity bills, resulting in significant job losses.”

The White House countered that Clean Power Plan is a response to a moral obligation to reduce pollution for future generations, as well as improve overall health. It presented statistics showing 10.4% of Wisconsin adults and 7.8% of children have asthma.

“In 2013, 48 million metric tons of carbon pollution were emitted from power plants in Wisconsin — equal to the yearly pollution from over 10 million cars,” according to the White House release. “In addition to reducing a portion of this carbon pollution, EPA’s guidelines will also cut other forms of air pollution like soot and smog.”