By Valerie Volcovici and Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Twenty-three states said on Friday they have filed a petition with a U.S. appeals court to block the Obama administration's proposal to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the centerpiece of his high-profile climate change strategy.
West Virginia, Texas, Florida and Ohio were among the states to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, saying it pushed the limits of the federal Clean Air Act.
“EPA claims to have sweeping power to enact such regulations based on a rarely-used provision of the Clean Air Act but such legal authority simply does not exist,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said.
Janet McCabe, the EPA's assistant administrator for the office of air and radiation, defended the legality of the Clean Power Plan on Thursday and said it was written with extensive input from states and "conforms to legal precedent."
(Reporting By Valerie Volcovici and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)