WRI – Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court paused implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) to allow an appeals court to consider a legal challenge from a number of states, corporations and industry groups. That case is being expedited, and a decision is expected by the fall.
Importantly, the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a temporary stay was not based on the legal merits of the CPP, which calls for emissions reductions throughout states’ power sectors. Experts agree that the CPP is on solid legal ground and will prevail. Indeed, previously the Supreme Court not only upheld the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act (which the Clean Power Plan builds upon), the Court found the agency had the obligation to do so to protect Americans’ health.
We expect yesterday’s ruling to be only a temporary time out as the CPP heads to full implementation. As the legal case proceeds, the EPA has indicated it will continue to help states put in place the plans and tools they need to comply with the rule, and the Obama administration has committed to continue taking aggressive steps to reduce emissions and lead in the fight against climate change.
Clean Power Plan: Smart, Balanced and Beneficial
The benefits of the plan are clear, far-reaching and worth fighting for. The CPP offers a smart, balanced approach that will cut dangerous pollution as it drives innovation, creates new job opportunities and improves public health. The CPP is one of the most important near-term tools the United States can use to help reach its goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In addition, the plan will make our air safer to breathe by reducing Americans’ exposure to particulate matter and ground-level ozone, benefiting our health and the economy by an estimated $25 billion to $65 billion – far more than the $7 billion to $9 billion cost of compliance, according to the EPA.
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