Fri., October 7, 2011 2:32pm (EDT)

Georgia Sues EPA
By Melissa Stiers
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
(photo courtesy of US Geological Survey)
(photo courtesy of US Geological Survey)
The state is trying to block several impending federal regulations on air pollution.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens says this week’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the cross state air pollution rule is one of several challenges already in the works.

"We’re involved in probably four or five petitions slash lawsuits considering similar issues," says Olens. "There’s frankly been a rush to change as many rules as possible before next November’s election."

The Republican says the legal challenges are a response to what he calls an onslaught of federal rules that he says will kill jobs and raise electricity costs.

The regulations target pollution from coal power plants.

Olens says power companies don’t have enough time to comply. But environmental lawyer Kurt Ebersbach with Green Law says the rules have been expected for years.

"They were issued in unduly weak forms by the Bush administration and they were invalidated by the court," says Ebersbach, "and EPA had to go back and revise the rules and make them stronger."

Ebersbach says they’re meant to make energy companies internalize the health and environmental costs of quote ‘dirty’ energy.