West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican, teamed up Friday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to rules proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Mountain State joined Kansas and Montana in filing a friend of the court brief asking the high court to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the EPA's interpretation of its powers under the Clean Air Act. At issue are four consolidated cases.
The states contend that ruling would allow the agency to go way too far.
West Virginia officials said in a joint announcement that "The U.S. Supreme Court should hear the case to clarify that the EPA has misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and acted outside the scope of its legal and Constitutional authority."
Tomblin wrote President Obama last month to protest the EPA's zealotry with regard to coal. Working with Morrisey to file a friend of the court brief takes matters a necessary step further.
"The EPA's proposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions threaten the livelihood of our coal miners to the point of killing jobs and crippling our state and national economies, while also weakening our country's efforts toward energy independence," Tomblin wrote.
"I hope the high court recognizes the urgency and critical importance of our brief for all Americans."
Morrisey and Tomblin said the lower court's ruling in favor of the EPA would "fundamentally alter" the Constitution's separation of powers and give unchecked power not only to one regulatory agency but to other federal agencies as well.
The states contend in their brief that the EPA's proposed rule for regulating power plants contradicts specific provisions of the Clean Air Act and would enact new requirements that are much tougher than the levels outlined in law.
This administration has repeatedly flouted limits on its power. It proceeds unless plaintiffs stop it in court.
It's good to see West Virginia's Democrats and Republicans united in challenging that habit.