In a surprise procedural decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court put the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan on pause while a lower court reviews it.
The Court did not weigh in on the merits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan, and didn’t explain its reasoning, so we don’t know the legal basis for this unusual decision.
But we do know that the court has repeatedly upheld the EPA’s authority – in fact, its responsibility – to limit climate pollution under the Clean Air Act.
So we remain confident that the Clean Power Plan rests on a solid legal foundation, as states, power companies, legal experts and air pollution control officials nationwide have already recognized.
Clinging to the past is bad policy
A lower court, the D.C. Court of Appeals, will continue its review of the Clean Power Plan, with a hearing scheduled for June 2.
Because of the Supreme Court’s action yesterday, the EPA can’t require states to move forward with their planning until the issue is settled. But the reality is that many states and power companies will continue to plan for the clean energy future they all know is coming.
In fact, it would be irresponsible to delay the transition away from dirty fossil fuels with the expectation that the Supreme Court will reverse its consistent endorsement of the EPA’s duty to limit emissions. Meanwhile, the need for the EPA to exercise its recognized authority to protect our nation from dangerous climate change becomes ever more clear.
Delay is not what citizens expect from their leaders. And companies that cling to 19th-century fuels and 20th-century business plans aren’t doing their stockholders any good.
Yesterday’s ruling was a setback because this is the time we need to accelerate the transformation to clean energy, rather than create uncertainty.
It’s telling, therefore, that several states – including Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota and California – have already said they will stay the course.
The Clean Power Plan, which helped inspire China’s recent actions on climate change and the 190-nation climate agreement in Paris, should move forward because it has the facts, law and science on its side.
We (the world population) must all do our part to maintain planet Earth so that we can insure the Earth's ability to sustain life. Saving our environment must be a top priority for all of us.
Greenland is melting, Antarctic glaciers are breaking up, coral reefs are dying, cod have left Georges Bank, droughts and monumental floods are increasing. But since the Paris accords the fossil fuel industry has pumped out oil and gas -- and HUGE amounts of methane which is much worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Are we trying to speed up the destruction of our only livable planet as quickly as we can? How STUPID are we? Lets accelerate efforts in our state to implement clean energy plans. If done right,it can help our economy and combat destructive climate change.
People do not want to face the truth. They want to believe that some miracle will happen to stop drastic changes in the climate.Very few people have enough of a technical background to understand what is happening.
In reply to Greenland is melting, by Robert Haavind
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past eight years have become far more politically driven [than in the past]. Justices have simply become an extension of a broken political system. Decisions are based on political ideology, not law. These decisions are usually a 5-to-4 decision. So it shouldn't come as surprise that the court would deny climate change because of the control that the oil industry has over the Republican party. Five of these justices make their decisions based on their party affiliation.
Many decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have not left me surprised. Many politically staunch Republicans want the power and the economy, and are disregarding what scientific data shows. With all due respect, education should have taught them.
I don't believe it has anything to do with their ability to comprehend scientific data. This is about maintaining power steeped in deceitful political ideology to get funding from the oil industry that controls the political narrative. It used yo be called bribery now its called lobbying.
Someone needs to speak with NV Energy (owned by Warren Buffet) about their decision to essentially shut down the solar power business in Nevada. This decision by the Supreme Court does not help matters.
We need to replace our current mostly fossil fuel-based energy systems with mostly renewable energy systems over the next 20 to 30 years. I favor taxes to speed the transition mostly with prohibitive tariffs as a disincentive to pollute. The revenue [can be spent on] clean-up messes from the old system -- and to buy coal, oil, natural gas, uranium, and other mineral rights to buy out old energy systems. It can also be used on investments in flood control and desalination of brackish water too salty for irrigation, domestic use, and industrial use -- all in effort to adapt to climate change. It might even be possible to mitigate climate change a little by carbon capture and storage and/or recycling carbon with either algae or chemical engineering or even a little genetic engineering.
Encourage your state officials to continue implementing the Clean Power Plan.
joan fishFebruary 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm