DC District Court Hears Clean Power Plan Case

On Sept. 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments concerning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

This rule, which is central to meeting the Obama administration’s commitment to the 2015 Paris climate talks, seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 32 percent by 2030. Opponents of the regulation challenge the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

More than two dozen states join coal companies and some utilities in opposing the regulation, while the EPA is supported by 18 states, public health and environmental advocacy groups and other utilities.

The 10-judge panel is expected to deliberate the case for several months. Regardless of the outcome, the case will likely be sent to the Supreme Court. But with a Supreme Court vacancy, a 4-4 verdict would give precedence to the appellate court’s decision.

— Elizabeth E. Payne


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