On Monday, Attorney General Tim Fox asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the final carbon emission rule adopted in August. John Barnes with the AG’s office said Montana among other states filed suit in federal court to overturn the final rule.

"At the same time, we are using the administrative rule that's allowed to us to petition the EPA to reconsider the rule for a variety of reasons," Barnes said. "Those reasons were outlined in a letter that Attorney General Fox sent to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy."

Barnes reiterated that the final carbon rule differs "significantly and substantially" from the proposed rule.

"We believe the EPA acted without a fair, working knowledge of the rules and potential impacts in Montana," Barnes said. "We also believe that the stages in the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act because the adopted rule is not what could be considered a logical outgrowth of the proposed rule. They are so different. Therefore, Montana could not have reasonably anticipated the changes and therefore, would not have been able to comment on them."

Sen. Steve Daines agreed with Attorney General Fox's petition.

“I support the Attorney General’s petition for reconsideration filed today regarding EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule.  As I have said, in the final rule EPA moved the goalposts and left Montana with one of the most stringent standards in the nation. Under the proposed rule, we had done a significant amount of work to develop possible ways to comply – but all of that work was tossed aside by EPA in the final rule, sending us back to the drawing board.


We need to address climate change but the EPA final rule is unfair to Montana. Nevertheless, I’m asking a group of Montanans to help me craft a Montana-based solution so that we won’t have a plan imposed on us by people in Washington DC.”


Barnes concluded that method used for calculating Montana’s carbon reduction targets was based on a formula that disregarded the state’s energy production portfolio.

To view the petition for reconsideration, click here.