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Friday, January 22, 2016

Ind. Decisions - DC Circuit panel "Rejects a Bid to Block Coal Plant Regulations"

This decision impacts Indiana and more than two dozen other states. Coral Davenport of the NY Times reports:

In a significant victory for President Obama, a federal appeals panel on Thursday rejected an effort by 27 states and dozens of corporations and industry groups to block the administration’s signature regulation on emissions from coal-fired power plants while a lawsuit moves through the courts.

The rule, issued last summer by the Environmental Protection Agency, is at the heart of Mr. Obama’s efforts to tackle climate change. It would require each state to significantly cut greenhouse gas pollution from electric power plants, the nation’s largest source of such emissions.

Once fully in place, the regulation — which would cut emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 — could transform the electricity system, closing hundreds of heavily polluting coal-fired plants and sharply increasing production of wind and solar powers.

But the 27 states, many of which have economies that rely on coal mining or coal-fired power, have sued the administration to kill the plan. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set June 2 to hear arguments in that case, although it is widely expected to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court, most likely in 2017.

“We are pleased that the court has rejected petitioners’ attempts to block the Clean Power Plan from moving forward while litigation proceeds,” said Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman. “We look forward to continuing to work with states and other stakeholders taking steps to implement the Clean Power Plan.”

By rejecting the petition on Thursday, a three-judge panel of the court required states to move forward with plans to shut down polluting coal plants and build new wind and solar sources.

Curtis Tate writes for McClatchy:
WASHINGTON A federal court has declined to put President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold, meaning Kentucky and other states that sued to block it must comply with it until the legal challenges are resolved.

Under the plan, states must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by one-third by 2030, meaning states that are heavy users of coal to produce electricity face having to move toward natural gas or renewable energy.

Here is a story from USA Today, by Richard Wolf.

Here are some earlier ILB posts on the federal Clean Power Plan.

[More] Here is a good, in-depth story from the $$ WSJournal, reported by Brent Kendall and Amy Harder. A few quotes:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a brief written order, denied their requests to stay the regulation during the litigation. The court said the challengers “have not satisfied the stringent requirements” for a stay of a regulation pending the court’s review. * * *

Thursday’s order declining to block the regulations came from a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel. The panel, two judges appointed by Democratic presidents and one appointed by a Republican, said it would consider the legal challenges on an expedited timeline. The court said it would hear oral arguments on June 2.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 22, 2016 01:58 PM
Posted to Environment | Indiana Decisions | Indiana Government