A group of 29 US states and state agencies led by West Virginia and Texas on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to halt implementation of the EPA’ Clean Power Plan while lawsuits against it proceed, after a Washington DC appeals court last week ruled against the request.
If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the group, states would likely not have to file an initial CPP implementation plan by Sep. 6 as required by the CPP model rule.
A lawsuit filed by the same group against the plan itself will be heard in Washington DC on June 2, and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey expects the suit may stretch into 2017.
“Without Supreme Court intervention, West Virginia and other states will suffer irreparable harm as job creators and state agencies spend untold resources to comply with a rule that is likely to be struck down as illegal,” Morrisey said Tuesday.
“While we know a stay request to the Supreme Court isn’t typical at this stage of the proceedings, we must pursue this option to mitigate further damage from this rule. Real people are hurting in West Virginia and it’s my job to fight for them,” he said.
The Clean Power Plan seeks to ensure an overall 32% reduction in CO2 emissions from new and existing US coal-fired power plants by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
But some officials, especially in coal-dependent states, argue the EPA plan is bureaucratic overreach and illegal without backing from federal lawmakers.
Under the plan, states are expected to draw up their own policies for how to meet their individual CO2 targets within parameters set by the EPA.
A vast majority of the 47 states facing targets under the CPP are looking at cap-and-trade systems as a least-cost policy to meet their targets, although specific proposals are yet to emerge.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org