Appeals Court Should Finish its Work on Clean Power Plan

And Reject Trump Bid to Kill Clean Power Plan by Stealth

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Defense Council and allies filed a response today in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit opposing a recent request by the Trump Administration to stop work on a case involving the Clean Power Plan. NRDC was joined by Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and others supporting the plan to clean up dirty power plants that are contributing to climate change.

David Doniger, director of NRDC’s climate and clean air program, issued this statement:

“The appeals court should reject Trump’s bid to block a ruling on the Clean Power Plan, and to kill the plan by stealth. Ten members of the court heard the critical clean air and climate case six months ago. The court should be allowed to finish the job and rule on its merits. We’re confident the Clean Power Plan rests on solid legal ground.”

The Trump Administration’s stealthy plan is this: If the court grants the motion for indefinite delay, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will effectively be able to scrap the Clean Power Plan without justifying its actions – without holding public hearings, listening to millions of Americans who want climate action, and justifying its changes to the courts, NRDC and its allies contends

Trump and Pruitt are flouting the Supreme Court’s intent. The high court stayed the Clean Power Plan temporarily, only to allow time for the courts to review it. Trump and Pruitt are trying to stretch that indefinitely, allowing for continued unlimited carbon pollution from power plants, the nation’s biggest source of pollution that drives dangerous climate change and kills thousands of Americans each year. 

Former President Obama issued the Clean Power Plan in 2015, which was challenged in the courts by polluters and their allies.

On March 29, Trump issued an executive order calling for an open-ended “review” of the Clean Power Plan. Hours later, his administration asked the appeals court to suspend work—or hold in abeyance—pending litigation over the plan. The filing today by NRDC and others is in response to that move by Trump.

The link to the NRDC and others filing is here:

A coalition of states also filed in support of the Clean Power Plan today:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

Related Press Releases