Supreme Court blocks Obama’s climate rule for power plants

Supreme Court blocks Obama’s climate rule for power plants–21gh., b38

The Supreme Court has blocked President Obama’s landmark climate rule for power plants, dealing a major blow to the president’s climate agenda. In an order released Tuesday night, the court said it is placing a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants while industry and state lawsuits move forward.

The rule — the Clean Power Plan — is the main plank of Obama’s climate change agenda. It’s designed to cut carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 32 percent over 2005 levels by 2030 by assigning states individual reduction targets based on their energy mix.

The stay means Obama will likely leave office with the fate of his premier climate policy undecided.The circuit court plans to hear arguments on the rule in June, meaning the Supreme Court probably won’t get a chance to hear or rule on the regulation until after Obama’s term ends in January.

The Clean Power Plan is the centerpiece of the American commitment to the agreement reached there.

The decision means that the EPA cannot enforce the rule until the litigation against it is finished.It also signals that the court believes that the states, companies and groups suing the EPA are likely to win their case when its merits are considered.The order from the court is extraordinarily unprecedented. While court often blocks rules temporarily, lawyers on all sides said the Supreme Court has never done so when a lower court refused to.A coalition of 26 states, led by West Virginia, asked for the stay as part of a legal strategy against the regulation in federal court. They argued that the rule would hurt them in irreversible ways during the litigation process.“If this court does not enter a stay, the plan will continue to unlawfully impose massive and irreparable harms upon the sovereign states, as well as irreversible changes in the energy markets,” they wrote to the Supreme Court last month. Various business groups joined in asking for the stay.

source–the hill, davin henry, timothy cama, david diniger

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