Oklahoma City, OK– For the second time in two days, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a significant ruling in favor of Oklahoma. Yesterday, in a landmark case, the Court held in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta that our State retained jurisdiction in eastern Oklahoma to prosecute non-Indians and protect victims of crime.
Today, in another important victory, in West Virginia v. EPA the Court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s power-grab under the Clean Air Act—a lawless effort that, if allowed, would have cost billions of dollars, closed businesses, and led to the loss of countless jobs.
The EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” was first created in 2015 by the Obama Administration and was quickly challenged by Oklahoma and numerous other States as a wildly overbroad interpretation of the Clean Air Act. In short, the States argued that the EPA has not been given the authority to unilaterally restructure the nation’s power grids and “decarbonize” any sector of the economy.
Today, after a long journey through the lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. The Court held that it was “not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own” a plan to “force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to general electricity.” Rather, the Court emphasized, “[a] decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to clear delegation.”
But instead of pointing to a clear delegation here, the EPA cited an “obscure, never-used section of the law” to argue for a plan that it admitted “would entail billions of dollars in compliance costs (to be paid in the form of higher energy prices), require the retirement of dozens of coal-fired plants, and eliminate tens of thousands of jobs across various sectors.”
“This ruling is a big win for our system of government,” said Attorney General John O’Connor. “In our country, the federal government has limited powers, and federal agencies are not entitled to invent radical powers out of thin air, like the EPA did here. Once again, our office has stood firm on behalf of Oklahomans and Oklahoma businesses, and successfully pushed back against federal overreach that threatens our jobs and the economy.”
In addition to its wins as a petitioner in Castro-Huerta and West Virginia v. EPA, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office has also submitted amicus briefs on the prevailing side of twelve (12) cases at the U.S. Supreme Court this term. These briefs have resulted in decisions defending the Second Amendment right to bear arms, protecting the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion, and overturning Roe v. Wade, allowing States to defend the unborn and returning major policy decisions to the people and their elected representatives.