Obama Administration's "Clean Power Plan" dealt a setback by the Supreme Court
The Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan suffered a setback on Tuesday when the Supreme Court granted a stay to the program. In a 5-4 decision, the court sided in favor of petitioning states, utilities and coal companies that claimed that the federal government was overreaching its powers when it attempted to establish a national plan to move away from fossil-fuel based power. Requests for the Supreme Court to impose the stay were submitted in January after an appeals court ruled that the plan could proceed while legal challenges were being heard.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is an about-face to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and it comes at a critical time for the Obama administration’s clean energy program, especially in light of the upcoming elections in November. While the administration can appeal the Supreme Court’s order, arguments would not be considered until June and, pending acceptance by the higher court, likely wouldn’t be scheduled until October or later this year. That leaves the fate of the Clean Power Plan in the hands of the upcoming presidency.
The Obama administration released a statement that while it disagrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling, it would continue to work with states that are willing to support the program. It accused states and opponents of trying to wrangle an “extraordinary and unprecedented” halt to the plan before it was fully reviewed in court.
Supporters of the Clean Power Plan have been even more vocal, questioning the motives of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to block a key strategy to combating climate change. In a Huffington Post op-ed on Wednesday morning, attorney David Halperindelved into why proponents of the plan find the court’s decision disturbing.
US Supreme Court Building image via Shutterstock.
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