Special Topics in Environmental Management

States Against the Federal Clean Power Plan

When the U.S. Supreme Court granted a state petition to stay EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) until the state case against the plan worked its way through the U.S. appeals court (and possibly the Supreme Court itself), the five justices favoring the stay did not specify why they made that decision. However, in their brief, the petitioning states argued strongly that (1) their legal argument to nullify the CPP had a reasonable chance to succeed; and (2) if it did succeed, all the ongoing efforts states are now making to meet the requirements of the CPP would be “wasted and, in many cases, impossible to reverse.”

But argument (2) would be less persuasive if the legal challenges comprising (1) were not also deserving of judicial consideration.

Accordingly, we provide a summary of the four main arguments the state petitioners have made against the EPA and its CPP.

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