Zack Colman of the Washington Examiner probes the political implications of governors’ decisions to challenge the latest case of Environmental Protection Agency overreach.

Governors who refuse to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon emissions rule for power plants might get something they like even less — a cap-and-trade system imposed on their electric utilities.

The half-dozen governors, several of whom have presidential ambitions and who have threatened not to comply with the rule, face a choice: Acquiesce to the EPA or risk allowing the more politically toxic cap-and-trade scheme to take root.

The EPA can enforce a “federal implementation plan” if recalcitrant states don’t submit a plan by September 2018 to meet state emissions targets outlined in the regulation finalized Monday. The default federal plan could involve cap-and-trade, which has become a political non-starter on Capitol Hill and among conservatives following the 2010 collapse of a sweeping federal bill to create such a plan.

In the rule, the EPA proposes two options for states that don’t submit a plan or file one that isn’t approved: Capping total emissions for states and allowing their utilities to trade credits, or setting a “rate-based standard” for states — basically, a certain level of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour of electricity — in which utilities would trade emissions credits.

Several governors, mostly Republicans, have suggested they might sign onto Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, R-Ky., call to not comply with the rule.

The governors who have said they won’t comply — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin — or signaled they might not — Mike Pence of Indiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Phil Bryant of Mississippi and Democratic West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin — believe the Supreme Court will strike down the rule.