Federal Court Deals Obama’s Clean Power Plan Another Body Blow


A federal court delayed former President Barack Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) for two months Tuesday while the Trump administration determines the program’s fate.

“As this court has held this case in abeyance, the Supreme Court’s case stay now operates to postpone application of the Clean Power Plan indefinitely while the agency reconsiders and perhaps repeals the Rule,” D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Millett Tatel wrote in the ruling.

The decision could be problematic, however, because the court sustained in 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding.

The decision would make it easier for the Trump administration to repeal CPP, which was intended to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants to slow global warming. The Supreme Court’s stay, meanwhile, allows the EPA to avoid complying with the Obama-era rule for the indefinite future.

Tatel advised environmentalists and states concerned about the ruling to consult the Supreme Court about any discrepancies regarding that court’s ruling. The Supreme Court issued a stay against implementing the CPP in 2016 after more than two dozen states sued to have the rule overturned.

The CPP is expected to cost the U.S. approximately $41 billion annually, which equates to about $10.74 a month for each American. The plan would have eliminated most cheap coal and natural gas power with expensive sources like solar and wind.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March rescinding a slew of Obama administration policies aimed at addressing climate change and promoting “energy independence.”

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