Washington: Fifteen US states have petitioned a federal court to block new rules by President Barack Obama's administration to encourage clean power and cut harmful carbon emissions from power plants.
The emergency petition to postpone the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)deadline was filed Thursday by attorneys general in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
"This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation's history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
"With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states' energy economies."
The petition seeks a ruling by September 8, one year before states would have to submit plans for how they will follow the rules set by the EPA.
The plan was unveiled by the Obama administration earlier this month, and aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
In order to meet these goals, states and electric companies must use more natural gas -- which is less polluting and more abundant in the United States than oil -- as well as more renewable energies like solar and wind.