Ag Policy Blog

Supreme Court Halts EPA Climate Regulations on Power Plants

By Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor

President Barack Obama's administration suffered a blow to his environmental agenda late Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay effectively blocking EPA's Clean Power Plan from going into effect.

The five Republican-appointed justices votes to back the stay while EPA's carbon pollution rules are argued in the courts. The four justices appointed by Democrats voted in dissent.

West Virginia, Texas and 23 other states are challenging the EPA's plan, which would require coal-fired coal plants to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The Supreme Court decision likely ties up the Clean Power Plan in courts through the end of the Obama Administration. The stay puts the rule on hold pending the outcome of the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and the end of any appeal to the Supreme Court.

Under the plan, EPA delays actual regulatory standards from kicking in until 2022. States would have until 2018 to submit their plans for achieving lower emission goals.

People on both sides of the issue of climate change had strong reactions to court's decision Tuesday night. The White House disagrees with the court's decision.

"The Clean Power Plan is based on a strong legal and technical foundation, gives States the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions, and will deliver better air quality, improved public health, clean energy investment and jobs across the country, and major progress in our efforts to confront the risks posed by climate change. We remain confident that we will prevail on the merits. Even while the litigation proceeds, EPA has indicated it will work with states that choose to continue plan development and will prepare the tools those states will need. At the same time, the Administration will continue to take aggressive steps to make forward progress to reduce carbon emissions," The White House stated.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised the court's decision. Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the Chamber, said the EPA's rule on greenhouse gases was unlawful.

“Supreme Court’s stay of this rule and the D.C. Circuit’s order to hear the case quickly will ensure that America will not be forced to make costly and irreversible implementation decisions based upon an unprecedented regulation until judicial review is complete," Donohue said. "The EPA’s rule would put the government in control of our energy choices, drive up electricity costs for American businesses, consumers and families, impose tens of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness. Staying this rule is the right decision.”

Patrick Morrisey, attorney general for West Virginia, called the court's stay a "monumental victory." He added, “Make no mistake – this is a great victory for West Virginia,” Morrisey said. “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues.”

States involved in the case include West Virginia and Texas, as well as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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CRAIG MOORE 2/18/2016 | 9:35 AM CST
Jay? Don?
Gary Leghton 2/17/2016 | 9:02 PM CST
Well, that's how the left does it when it gets too deep. They run out of words and change the subject to throw you off! That's why Gov gets no where also!
CRAIG MOORE 2/16/2016 | 8:11 AM CST
Why can I get answers from other people but not from the person I ask the questions of?
Gary Leghton 2/13/2016 | 8:04 AM CST
Craig, you cant have a mature conversation that stays on the subject and that actually gets an intelligent answer or any answer at all when you try to converse with big gov huggers. Some of them just blame a president fifty years ago, stereotype you as a sloppy pollutant, and only their way can solve this countries problems. Obama has surely messed up this country by splitting up every aspect of differences of people. We all need to get together and listen to each other at the exact center of the table to get any sane thing accomplished at all. The sentiment is that if you are not far left, you cant accomplish a thing.
CRAIG MOORE 2/12/2016 | 8:19 AM CST
I am beginning to wonder that since the only one backing Jay and who also never answers a question, I wondering if Don is actually Jay?
CRAIG MOORE 2/12/2016 | 8:16 AM CST
Jay, what runs all the rest of the equipment on your farm? Yes, I know, "I drive an electric car". Jay, are you and the family vegans proving you dedication to improving the planet? Yes, I know, " I drive an electric car". I am sure the rest out there will agree with me even though I don't drive an electric car.
Jay Mcginnis 2/12/2016 | 7:11 AM CST
Electric bill went up 20% GWL,, I never noticed, LOL! You guys must be doing something wrong, maybe relying on corporate monopolies? I know back a president that believes corporations need to make even more, now there is a plan! If that doesn't work then back a candidate that wants corporations to make EVEN MORE!
GWL 61 2/11/2016 | 3:23 PM CST
My electric bill already went up 20% because of the projected cost that it was going to cost. Does this mean my electric bill will go down now? Am I going to get a refund on what I already paid from these crooked bastards and there insane proposals.
CRAIG MOORE 2/11/2016 | 10:22 AM CST
Don, are you and the family vegans?
Bonnie Dukowitz 2/11/2016 | 10:05 AM CST
Amazing how some think they do not emit a form of carbon when exhausting through their nostrils.
CRAIG MOORE 2/11/2016 | 9:50 AM CST
You sure are a one trick pony, aren't you Jay. Apparently you read my post and all I ask is for you to reference your next post relating to what I put out there for you. But you don't have the guts to do that do you, electric car boy?
Raymond Simpkins 2/11/2016 | 9:39 AM CST
Don. Can't believe you think anything Jay says is true.
Don Thompson 2/11/2016 | 7:14 AM CST
Jay, You really got them wound up again!
What is really sad about our "civilized" society is the harm we do to the Earth when we remove natural resources. In the past, no attempt was made to account for the damage and now our generations are paying the price in the form of threats to our own health and well being. This has to change and some folks will not accept the discomfort of change. Just hope that follow- on generations can't fault us for doing nothing when the opportunity existed to make progress.
Jay Mcginnis 2/11/2016 | 6:27 AM CST
Actually Gary I do charge it with my solar, 100% made in the US energy. No oil change, no engine problems, brakes last far longer as they absorb the energy in a stop. Best of all, NO OIL WARS! So when I look at all you paying at the pump thats not wealth redistribution? The 1% have you well trained. Enjoying my geothermal heat this cold morning powered by the sun, I am redistributing the heat from the ground and sun into my house, I guess you can call that wealth.
Gary Leghton 2/10/2016 | 8:40 PM CST
Is that car solar? Just wait until that battery goes out,$5000 to $6000. That's called wealth redistribution,Jay
Jay Mcginnis 2/10/2016 | 8:26 PM CST
No Bonnie, I don't listen to Faux News, but you beleive what you want. Hey Craig, I drive an electric car and for the past 10 years been renewable energy powered, it works!
Raymond Simpkins 2/10/2016 | 8:00 PM CST
Jay did not read my earlier comment.
Bonnie Dukowitz 2/10/2016 | 5:54 PM CST
Guess you have not been keeping up on the news, Jay.
CRAIG MOORE 2/10/2016 | 1:30 PM CST
Jay, it wasn't Republicans that made a deal with the Chinese where the US would double its annual reduction of CO2 while the Chinese would "try" to reduce their "increase" its annual increase of CO2 by 2030. And if you want to talk about the ability to help the poor we will bring up Obamas years helping the poor black children out there. When he came to power 17% of the black children lived in poverty. Now after seven years that number is down to 22%. Of course we all know that is because of the Republicans stopping all the increases in government spending. Oh wait, the government has spent more every year he has been president. Wonder how that is working that way.
Jay Mcginnis 2/10/2016 | 10:36 AM CST
Oh Bonnie, you're such a Republican, of course I don't dump batteries, people interested in helping the environment recycle.
Raymond Simpkins 2/10/2016 | 10:33 AM CST
Some people sound smarter when they say nothing at all !!!!! J.
Curt Zingula 2/10/2016 | 8:11 AM CST
Let the light shine in - CO2 is not the only factor affecting climate change. Glaciation has occurred with earth's CO2 levels 7 times higher than now. We are currently sitting at CO2 levels about 1/3 the ideal level for optimizing plant growth. Satellite observation of earth's temperature (which unlike roof-top weather stations utilizing human input modeling) show no significant warming for the past 19 years. But most importantly, cuts to U.S. GHG sources would have been negated by Obama's deal to allow the Chinese to double GHG emissions before trusting them to start cutting back in 2030.
Bonnie Dukowitz 2/10/2016 | 7:46 AM CST
Where you going to dump your toxic, wasted electric car battery, Jay? Lake Erie?
Jay Mcginnis 2/10/2016 | 7:01 AM CST
So West Virginia, a state that believes ground hogs can predict the weather is able to make decisions that will destroy the climate for generations to come? History will not be kind to the likes of Patrick Morrisey. If Patrick Morrisey is there to protect the working class why is his state one of the poorest in the US? He needs to tell the truth and say he is protecting big coal and the corporations that make billions off the backs of minimum wage workers, he is protecting lobbyists.