The US Supreme Court yesterday delivered a major blow to President Obama’s climate change policy by temporarily halting the implementation of the Clean Power Plan while an appeals court considers a legal challenge to the rule that aims to regulate coal-burning power plant emissions.
The Clean Power Plan requires existing coal-burning power plants to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Since the EPA published the rule in late October, more than 20 energy companies, other businesses and industry organizations, along with 27 states, have filed lawsuits to overturn it.
The US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, granted the states’ and industry’s motion to stay the Clean Power Plan while the courts determine its legality.
As expected, environmentalists called yesterday’s ruling “a temporary time out” while states and industry groups said it signals they have a strong legal case against the emissions rule.
“The Supreme Court’s highly unusual action flies in the face of common sense,” said World Resources Institute’s Sam Adams, director of the organization’s US climate initiative. “Experts agree that the Clean Power Plan is on solid legal ground and will prevail based on the merits. We expect this ruling to be only a temporary ‘time out’ as the plan heads to full implementation.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons said, “the granting of our motion to delay implementation while the courts debate the legality of the Clean Power Plan not only shows the strengths of the merits of our case, but also saves manufacturers from billions of dollars in unjustly incurred regulatory costs.”
Photo Credit: coal power plant via Shutterstock