Hoeven Joins Bicameral Effort Challenging EPA's Authority to Force Grid Away From Coal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today joined a bicameral effort supporting petitioners from 20 states, including North Dakota, challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to issue burdensome, sector-wide regulations that force states to change their fuel sources for electricity generation. Specifically, the members of Congress filed an amicus brief in West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The members argue that the EPA acted outside its congressionally-granted authority by issuing overreaching rules, also known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), in an attempt to force the nation’s grid away from reliable power generation sources, including our abundant coal reserves. In filing the brief, the members are working to prevent the Biden administration from issuing similar, wide-ranging rules in the future.

Hoeven joined a similar brief in 2016 to prevent the CPP’s implementation and also cosponsored and helped pass resolutions to repeal the EPA rules. The resolutions were subsequently vetoed by President Obama. Hoeven then helped advance efforts under the Trump administration to replace the CPP with rules that respect states’ authority to regulate the power sector, provide flexibility in reducing emissions and ensure the continued reliability and affordability of the grid.

“If Congress had intended to give the EPA such sweeping authority to transform an entire sector of our economy, Congress would have done so explicitly. An administrative agency like the EPA may decide issues of such vast economic and political significance only when the agency can point to ‘clear congressional authorization,” the brief states.

“Decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions and the power sector are major policy questions with vast economic and political significance. Only elected members of Congress, representing the will of the people, may decide these questions. The EPA’s attempt to issue expansive regulations cannot stand in the absence of clear congressional authorization.

“Congress knows how to address greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, Congress has decided to pass transformative laws that incentivize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from a wide range of industries, including the electric power sector.” 

In addition to Hoeven and Capito, the brief was co-signed by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Tom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).

House co-signers of the brief include Representatives Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), Robert E. Latta (R-Ohio), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Gary J. Palmer (R-Ala.), Neal P. Dunn (R-Fla.), John R. Curtis (R-Utah), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Greg Pence (R-Ind.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho), Garret Graves (R-La.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.), August Pfluger (R-Texas), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

Read the full text of the amicus brief here.