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Clean Power Plan overcomes first legal challenge

The Clean Power Plan recently passed its first legal test.
Clean Power Plan overcomes first legal challenge
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently issued a major ruling on the Clean Power Plan, deciding a stay of the rule was not warranted. Here’s a roundup of what people are saying about the announcement.

The New York Times

“We are pleased that the court has rejected petitioners’ attempts to block the Clean Power Plan from moving forward while litigation proceeds,” said Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman. “We look forward to continuing to work with states and other stakeholders taking steps to implement the Clean Power Plan.”

“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased, since today’s order rejects extreme mischaracterizations of the Clean Power Plan and efforts to delay its implementation,” said Sean Donohue, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund. “We’re not that surprised, since E.P.A. was able to show that the rule rests on a firm statutory and factual footing, and that the agency built into it ample time to allow states, regulated sources and the agency to work together to reduce carbon emissions.”

Bloomberg Business

“U.S. President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan will move forward as a federal appeals court rejected a bid by the power industry and more than two dozen states to put the sweeping initiative designed to stem climate change on hold while they fight to quash it.”

“The Washington-based appeals court on Thursday issued a two-page order rejecting the opponents’ request to block the plan’s implementation until their challenge is resolved. The court said it would hear arguments June 2. The denial is a blow to utilities and coal producers, along with states where they operate, including Kentucky and the lead state, West Virginia.”

“These historic standards will help protect current and future generations,” Melissa Harrison, a spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said in an e-mailed statement. “The plan puts the United States on track to significantly cut carbon pollution from power plants — our nation’s largest source of carbon pollution.”

USA Today

“The so-called Clean Power Plan is a cornerstone of President Obama’s climate change initiative, now incorporated into the recently signed United Nations climate agreement. It aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 32% from 2005 levels over the next 15 years.”

“The appeals court’s ruling Thursday said the states “have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.” But the court did set an ambitious timetable for the case, with oral arguments slated for June 2.”

“Today’s decision is a wonderful victory for all Americans across our nation in red and blue states alike that are working to protect our children and our communities from the clear and present danger of climate change,” said Vickie Patton, general counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund.

For more information about wind energy’s role in the Clean Power Plan, visit to www.awea.org/cleanpowerplan.

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Greg is AWEA's Deputy Director of External Communications. He is the head editor and writer for Into the Wind, and oversees AWEA's online content and opinion writing. Greg holds a Master's degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University's School of International Service. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University.

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