Regulatory Developments, Special Topics in Environmental Management

Clean Power Plan Stayed by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition from 29 states and state agencies seeking to stay EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) while challenges to the plan progress through the federal courts. The practical effect of the Court’s order is that the first deadline of June 30, 2016, for states to submit their initial plans for complying with the CPP will almost certainly become invalid. But the broader implication is that the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s strategy for addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change may also be rendered null and void.

The CPP requires that states develop plans to lower carbon emissions from existing fossil-fuel power plants to specific levels. The plans must show how states will make meaningful progress toward meeting their targets by 2020. The targets must be met by 2030. According to the EPA, the CPP offers states multiple options for reaching their goals based on each state’s energy profile.

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