WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, joined U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and group of their colleagues in introducing a formal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Good Neighbor” or “Headwind” rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.

The senators are seeking to overturn the rule, which will place severe restrictions on state emissions based on a questionable methodology that assigns fault to “upwind” states like West Virginia for other “downwind” state emissions. The EPA’s rule comes after years of good-faith efforts from states to address the emissions concerns through individual State Implementation Plans (SIP).

“The Biden administration continues to wage war on American energy through job-killing regulation after job-killing regulation, including the EPA’s ‘headwind rule,’ which directly targets our nation’s baseload power generation and manufacturing,” Ranking Member Capito said. “Not only does this proposal burden 23 states with costly emissions reductions requirements for power plants, it will also impact specific industries such as steel, cement, and pulp and paper for the first time. I appreciate Senator Wicker, a member of the EPW Committee, for leading this effort in Congress to combat the regulatory overreach of President Biden’s climate agenda.”

“The EPA claims that the state of Mississippi is causing emissions problems for Dallas and Houston. This is an entirely unconvincing assertion, which will have severe consequences for development in our area,” Senator Wicker said. “With its so-called ‘Good Neighbor’ rule, the EPA has decided to discard years of good-faith efforts by states to address emissions concerns. Overturning these plans by executive fiat is wrong and exceeds the role of the EPA. I am glad to be joined by so many like-minded colleagues in challenging this rule.”

The rule, which falls under provisions of the Clean Air Act, would impact 23 states, including West Virginia. It would require new, more stringent regulations related to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from stationary sources. To achieve lower emission rates, the rule would establish an ozone trading season for fossil fuel plants in 22 states and establish emission limits on certain industrial sources.

Prior to the issuance of the rule, states worked with the EPA to submit an approvable SIP for the 2015 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).  Earlier this year, the EPA disapproved SIPs for 19 states, including West Virginia, at one time. The other states whose SIPs were disapproved include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.  Many of those states are either suing or considering litigation against EPA as they believe this is a violation of the Clean Air Act’s “cooperative federalism” structure.


In June 2022, Ranking Member Capito sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan outlining serious concerns with the proposed “Good Neighbor Plan.”

Ranking Member Capito has criticized the EPA’s proposed ‘Good Neighbor Plan’ during EPW hearings in March 2023July 2022, and May 2022, and in an op-ed.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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