- A coalition of 29 states and state agencies led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey have asked the Supreme Court to stay implementation of the Clean Power Plan, a week after a federal court declined to do just that, SNL Energy reports.
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week denied a request to stay the federal carbon regulations, but agreed to fast-track the case and set a date in June for oral arguments.
- Petitioners counter that is still too slow, with a final ruling potentially taking up to a year. Morrisey said West Virginia and other states "will suffer irreparable harm" if the regulations go into effect, especially as he expects the law to eventually be struck down.
Clean Power Plan opponents acknowledge that their appeal to the Supreme Court for an early stay on a regultory package is unusual, but they argue that the wait for a decision from the D.C. Circuit could stretch into 2017, leaving states unsure of how to proceed.
“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,” Morrisey said in a statement
. “Real people are hurting in West Virginia and it’s my job to fight for them ... 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."
In October, West Virginia, Texas and 23 other states filed a lawsuit challenging the Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the utility sector by 32% by 2030. The states argued that the EPA exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act by double-regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states
to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation, according to Morrisey's statement.
Texas AG Paxton called the Obama administration's signature climate rule a "power grab" th
at "will force a massive reordering of nearly every state’s electric grid and result in less-reliable service for all customers."
Initial plans to comply with the Clean Power Plan are due from states in September, but the federal government has indicated that two-year extensions will be given
as long as states show progress on a plan. States which do not file a plan face the prospect of having a federal plan implemented.
In addition to the coalition of states petitioning for a stay on the Clean Power Plan, a group of 19
has filed in support of the Obama administration's carbon regulations.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set June 2 as the date for oral arguments to begin.