The Corporations Funding the Lawyers to Fight the Clean Power Plan

Lawyers from coal-dependent states, led by West Virginia, are challenging President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Joining their effort is an army of industry-funded law firms that specialize in fighting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together, they will argue that the EPA does not have any authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to issue the carbon regulations; they will also contest the legality of the fence line” used to set state emission targets. Yet, buried in coverage of the litigation is the fact that the coalition suing the EPA is connected to some of the largest electric utility companies in the country – and many have purposefully kept themselves at arms’ length so that their customers never know they are funding lawyers who are working to stop one of  President Obama’s main pillars to fight climate change. Policymakers, regulators, and customers should know what electricity companies are secretly working together with coal companies to sue the EPA.

Below is a network map built using the LittleSis free database. It details connections between powerful people and organizations; the data is derived from government filings, news articles, and other reputable sources. This map illustrates the links between the handful of lawyers involved in the litigation against the Clean Power Plan and the companies paying their firms.

The National Mining Association (NMA), shown in the middle of the LittleSis network map, filed a stay with the EPA to stop the plan from going into effect earlier this month. This is in addition to a stay filed on August 5 by the coal-dependent states that has recently resulted in the attorneys general filing an emergency petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking for federal judges to postpone…

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