States all over the country have picked sides in the coming court challenge over the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, and New Hampshire will join 18 other states in defending the new carbon dioxide regulations from a legal challenge.
All of the New England states are in this coalition as well as California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington. A few major cities round out the group.
For New Hampshire, these rules are expected to be a relatively light lift, thanks to the state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI.
On the other side are some two dozen states, including many which produce or refine fossil fuels or rely on coal for most of their electricity. They argue the rules would have a disproportionate impact on their economy, and the EPA has overstepped its regulatory authority.
Alan Brooks, with the Attorney General’s office, says New Hampshire will present data showing the state has been able to grow its economy while reducing carbon emissions through RGGI. "Most of those arguments [about economic impact] have been seen before and I think we’ve been able to demonstrate in New Hampshire and all the RGGI states, that you can effectively deal with these problems without unnecessary costs," says Brooks.
Under the new rules, states are required to present their plans for reducing carbon emissions by September of 2016. If they fail to do so, the federal government will impose a "model rule" for them.