Supreme Court puts Obama’s Clean Power Plan on hold

Supreme Court

On February 9, the Supreme Court issued a “stay” blocking implementation of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan rules that aim to cut CO2 emissions from the nation’s power plants until challenges to the regulations can be heard by the courts.

Here are links to various reports on this case.

SCOTUS Blog: http://www.scotusblog.com/2016/02/carbon-pollution-controls-put-on-hold/

The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/the-supreme-courts-devastating-decision-on-climate/462108/

Earthjustice: http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2016/earthjustice-statement-on-supreme-court-s-temporary-stay-of-the-clean-power-plan

New Republic: https://newrepublic.com/article/129556/obamas-climate-legacy-supreme-courts-hands

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/us/politics/carbon-emissions-paris-climate-accord.html

Vox: http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10955470/supreme-court-blocks-obama-co2-rules

There’s broad agreement on a number of points:

  • The stay doesn’t necessarily mean the Supreme Court will rule against the EPA when the case comes before it, which everyone expects it will.  But it sure isn’t a good omen.
  • The final outcome of this case won’t be known until after President Obama leaves office.  That means actual implementation of the Clean Power Plan, assuming it’s upheld by the courts, will be up to his successor. 
  • The stay does jeopardize the Paris climate agreement signed in December last year.  If the United States doesn’t meet its commitments under the agreement, other countries will surely walk away too.

The next president will get to decide not just whether and how to implement the Clean Power Plan but also to appoint Supreme Court justices who will be deciding future cases like this.

Your vote in the 2016 election matters a lot when it comes to the environment and climate change. 

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