Snyder bows out as Schuette fights EPA pollution rules
By Chad Livengood
Lansing — Attorney General Bill Schuette continues to wage a court battle over the Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury pollution controls for coal-fired power plants despite compliance by Michigan’s biggest utility companies and Gov. Rick Snyder disassociating himself with Schuette’s lawsuit.
Schuette has waged a three-year legal battle with the EPA to block implementation of the Obama administration’s Mercury & Air Toxins Standards with limited success.
In mid-June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider Schuette’s latest challenge to the EPA’s rules requiring power plants to reduce mercury emissions. Last Friday, Schuette filed a new legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia challenging an amendment the EPA made to its rules in April.
Schuette said Wednesday he’s fighting the way President Barack Obama’s EPA went around Congress to push the emissions restrictions onto states.
“This is a constitutional issue about does the administration have follow the Constitution or do you do things and bypass the Constitution with the issuance of rules and regulations,” said Schuette, a former congressman. “That’s what this is about. I think the Constitution is important. I’m not going to apologize for it.”
Attorneys general from 14 other states, including Ohio and Wisconsin, signed onto Schuette’s Friday court filing.
Snyder took his name off the latest lawsuit, meaning Schuette is no longer suing on behalf of the State of Michigan, but just on behalf of the “People of Michigan.”
“We disassociated with that,” Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said.