Why did the Supreme Court pause EPA’s Clean Power Plan?
The Supreme Court granted a stay of EPA’s carbon regulations—the Clean Power Plan.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board called it an “important rebuke to the political method of the anticarbon activists in the EPA and White House.”
Ditching fossils fuels will be a capital-intensive and generation-long transition, to the extent it is possible, and states must submit compliance plans as soon as this September that are supposed to last through 2030, or be subject to a federal takeover.
The legal challenges will take years, but the EPA hopes to engineer a fait accompli by bullrushing the states into making permanent revisions immediately. Once the Clean Power Plan starts, it becomes self-executing. If the EPA loses down the road, it will laugh that the opinion is too late and thus pointless.
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The stay suggests that a majority of the Court won’t allow this deliberate gaming of the slow pace of the legal process to become de facto immunity for anything the EPA favors. It’s especially notable because courts tend to be highly deferential to executive regulation.
What exactly did the court do?
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Why did the court do this?
And why have states, businesses, labor unions, and trade associations–including the U.S. Chamber—welcomed this decision as they fight EPA’s regulatory overreach?
I spoke with Heath Knakmuhs, senior director of policy at the Institute for 21st Century Energy to get some answers.
And to understand the international implications of the Supreme Court’s stay, read Stephen Eule’s piece.