2017 News Releases

AG Derek Schmidt to EPA: Take a New Approach

Release Date: Mar 08, 2017

TOPEKA  – (March 8, 2017) − Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt yesterday joined 16 other state attorneys general, and the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi, in a letter asking the new leader of the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on its core statutory missions and work with states rather than against them.

“From our perspective, the recent overreach by the [EPA] amounts to a striking departure from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts,” the state leaders wrote to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Respectfully, we ask that you consider the steps that the Agency may take to restore the principles of cooperative federalism embodied in these important statutes.”

Schmidt noted that over the past six years, Kansas has repeatedly challenged the legality of EPA actions taken during the Obama administration as exceeding the authority Congress gave the agency by law. Most of those challenges succeeded in the courts; for example, federal courts blocked the "Waters of the U.S." rule, which has since been withdrawn, and also the major greenhouse gas regulation issued by the Obama EPA. 

“With EPA under new leadership, we look forward to the agency bringing its rulemaking back into compliance with the statutes from which it derives its authority,” Schmidt said. “The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act expressly provide that states have the primary role in shaping compliance strategies that best meet the unique needs of each state. EPA needs to return to its vital statutory focus on protecting the environment and abandon its unauthorized tendencies toward central economic planning.” 

The states sending the letter are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming, along with Kentucky and Mississippi (through their governors).

A copy of the letter is available here: http://bit.ly/2mg7CPz.  

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.