ACC Statement on the Supreme Court Issuing a Stay on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (02.10.16)
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Posted by: Jason Hayes
Washington, DC - The Supreme Court yesterday took the unprecedented step of issuing a stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. This Supreme Court decision recognizes the irreparable harm that would occur in the absence of such a decision. The stay means the rule has been temporarily halted until the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals considers the legal challenges currently being brought against the rule.
The court’s decision yesterday gives a clear indication – as it did with its June 2015 rejection of the EPA MATS rule – that the EPA has likely overstepped its legal authority and that the nation’s most senior legal authorities have serious concerns with the rule.
However, the practical realities of plans to comply with onerous and costly federal regulations have already played out with EPA’s MATS rule. The MATS legal challenges took over three years and the Supreme Court decision to strike it down in 2015 was not issued until after the initial compliance date had passed and decisions to prematurely shut down coal plants had already been made.
Twenty-nine states and numerous other groups are committed to stopping this scenario from occurring again with the Clean Power Plan.
Together with the earlier decision by the D.C. Circuit Court to grant an expedited hearing of the legal challenge of the merits of the case against the Clean Power Plan, the courts are appropriately responding to widespread concerns about the structure, timing, and costly impacts of this EPA rule.