Clean Power Plan Issues Remain to Be Resolved

WASHINGTON  – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a directive on the Clean Power Plan case.

Following is a statement from David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

 “This decision is disappointing but still leaves key issues about the future of the Clean Power Plan to be resolved.  We will continue to fight in the D.C. Circuit and in the court of public opinion to ensure that the government fulfills its legal obligation to protect the public from climate change. 

“We remain confident this landmark plan stands on solid legal ground. And we’ll keep fighting to bring it into full effect. We can’t wait any longer to start cutting the dangerous carbon pollution driving climate change and accelerating the clean energy economy that will protect future generations.”


The Environmental Protection Agency had asked the court to hold the case in abeyance indefinitely. That was a stealth way to kill the Clean Power Plan because it would have kept in place a temporary stay by the Supreme Court – a stay that was supposed to last only until the courts dispose of the case. That would allow EPA to kill the Clean Power Plan without following the rule of law – without having to defend its action in public or in court.

The court didn’t buy that. It put the case on hold for only 60 days and asked for new briefs on whether, instead of extending the stay, it should dispose of the case by remanding it to EPA.  That would end the stay, and put the Clean Power Plan back into force, like any other rule, until and unless EPA changes it following the rule of law.

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