Arkansas is fed up with how the Obama administration has gone about imposing sweeping environmental regulations in the state, and so it has become the 19th state to stop working on President Barack Obama’s signature global warming rule.
Arkansas’ Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) confirmed Wednesday it was halting the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the wake of the Supreme Court’s issuing of a stay against the rule in February.
Arkansas joins 18 other states that are also not working on the CPP, including Texas and West Virginia — the two states leading the legal battle against the CPP.
But that’s not Arkansas’ only beef with EPA. The head of the state’s DEQ argued before Congress Wednesday that EPA’s tactics to impose new rules represents a form of “coercive federalism” rather than the “cooperative-federalism” model the agency used to rely on with new rules.
“However, the cooperative-federalism model that has defined Arkansas’s relation with the EPA beginning in the 1970s has morphed into something that can be better described as coercive federalism,” Becky Keogh, director of the DEQ, wrote in a letter to Congress.
“We have seen a decrease in time and tolerance for State Implementation Programs (SIPs) and a dramatic increase in EPA takeovers, or Federal Implementation Programs (FlPs),” Keogh wrote in a letter published online the same day she testified before a Senate committee on EPA abuse of its authority.
Whether it’s the CPP, the embattled “waters of the United States” rule or new ozone regulations, Keogh said EPA had become more coercive in its enforcement and more inclined to impose federal plans that ignore states’ concerns.
Arkansas isn’t the only state to complain about EPA’s “coercive” tactics. Top environmental regulators from South Dakota and West Virginia also testified against EPA tactics Wednesday, expressing their concerns the agency is trampling states’ rights.