On Tuesday, February 9, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to put on hold or stay the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until certain legal challenges are resolved. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be unable to move forward on implementation plans until the matter is resolved.
The Clean Power Plan was the jewel of President Obama’s environmental agenda and was established in August 2015 with the plan’s goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Opponents of the plan are challenging the legal authority of the plan and believe that the ruling is the first step in rejecting the plan. Utilities and coal miners are especially happy with the high court’s ruling.
Proponents of the plan believe that the ruling represents merely a slight delay and that it will ultimately move forward. Environmental groups believe that this delay is hurting the fight against climate change.
The timing of this decision might make this more of a political issue. It’s likely the issue might not be resolved before the presidential election, and both the democrats and republicans may use this topic as part of their campaign strategy. I would anticipate hearing more about the plan and climate change in the news and on the campaign trail in the months to come.