President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has hit a snag, and that snag is the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a temporary freeze on the plan’s implementation after a 5-4 majority vote.
The Associated Press (AP) called the move “a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations ‘an unprecedented power grab.’”
The Clean Power Plan plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, with a goal of reducing emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.
“We disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan while litigation proceeds,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest tweeted. “The Clean Power Plan is based on a strong legal and technical foundation, gives states the times and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions, and will deliver better air quality, improved public health, clear energy investment and jobs across the country, and major progress in our efforts to confront the risks posed by climate change.”
Under the Clean Power Plan, states are required to come up with their own plan to meet the administration’s goals by September 2016. However, states are allowed to request a two-year extension. Following that, states would have to enact the plan by 2022.
Many states opposing the plan rely heavily on fossil fuels for their economy.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the Clean Power Plan violates Constitutional law, and their fight against it has nothing to do with climate change.
“States and lawmakers should not move forward with the…implementation plans,” Morrisey said. “You cannot institute such radical energy regulations without going through the legislative branch.”
Earnest said the White House remains vigilant in its mission to reduce carbon emissions. “We remain confident that we will prevail on the merits. Even while the litigation proceeds, (the Environmental Protection Agency) has indicated it will work with states that choose to continue plan development and will prepare the tools those states will need.”
According to the AP, the stay blocks the implementation of the plan’s rules until the legal fights are resolved in the appeals court.