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Attorneys general meet in Oklahoma City to develop plan to protect states' regulatory authority

Nineteen state attorneys generals met in Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss what they see as federal regulations encroaching on state regulatory authority.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: January 18, 2013

The meetings included 16 Republican attorneys general and three Democrats. The sessions focused on environmental issues and the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers said environmental laws are designed so that the states have the authority to set regulatory standards.

“Our framers set up a separation of powers between the federal and state government,” Suthers said. “In the eight years I have been attorney general, there has been an erosion of that cooperative federalism. More and more, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and other federal agencies are usurping the prerogatives given to the states.”

The meetings were closed to the public, except for a news conference after the final session.

“We did not want this to be a political event,” Pruitt said. “This was not to garner attention. This was intended to be a working session where attorneys general could spend time learning together and creating strategy. It's difficult to do that in a media or political event.”

Pruitt and Suthers have worked together on states' rights issues before.

The two are among 28 state attorneys general who have sued in an effort to stop federally mandated health insurance, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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