Court refuses to block “Clean Power Plan”

Reuters (1/21, Hurley, Volcovici) reports a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has denied an effort by 27 states and industry groups to block the Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). While the court’s order denying the states’ application to stay the CPP means the regulations on carbon dioxide emission will remain in place while litigation over it continues, the court’s decision is not the end of the legal battle, as the appeals court must hear oral arguments and rule on the regulation’s legality.

According to The Hill (1/22, Cama), the court’s ruling was a “major early win” for the Environmental Protection Agency; however, opponents of the CPP “did score a win in Thursday’s order,” as the court “agreed to expedite the litigation process, scheduling oral arguments for June 2.”

Also reporting on the court’s ruling were Politico (1/21), the New York Times (1/21, Davenport, Subscription Publication), the AP (1/21, Biesecker), and McClatchy (1/21, Tate).

CPP Opponents Vow To March On. The Wall Street Journal (1/21, Kendall, Harder, Subscription Publication) reports that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, whose state has led the legal effort against CPP, expressed disappointment in Thursday’s ruling but said his group will ultimately prevail in court. He said that West Virginia may mount an appeal with the Supreme Court for a stay.

The Environmental Leader (1/21, Hardcastle) reports that NAM senior vice president and general counsel Linda Kelly stated the DC district court’s decision “leaves manufacturers with continued uncertainty, unanswered legal questions and unknown costs.” The story notes that NAM is among a number of groups suing to prevent the CPP from taking effect. Kelly added, “Our arguments are strong, the legality of the regulation is questionable, and we will continue to fight for pro-growth, pro-manufacturing regulations.

Delaware Business Now (1/21) reports the CPP “has been criticized by the business community, which claims it will lead to high electricity prices.” In Delaware specifically, “there are fears” that the new rule could force the state’s sole coal-fired plant to “shut down, despite the installation of tens of millions of dollars in emissions equipment.” The story highlights comments from Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), who “praised the decision,” and a statement by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly, who said Thursday’s ruling “is only a preliminary decision not judging the merits of our case and the ultimate fate of the regulation. The court clearly recognizes the importance of a quick ruling and expedited briefings and arguments in this case.” Kelly also noted the importance of the matter to manufacturers, who “as consumers of one-third of our nation’s energy, need reliable access to continue to provide jobs, create economic opportunity and compete in today’s increasingly global economy.”

In the full press release from the National Association of Manufacturers (1/22), Kelly also highlighted how “Manufacturers are leading the way in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” but need “reasonable, balanced policies that protect competitiveness.” Kelly calls on the administration to work with manufacturers and not against them “to ensure future growth and progress.”

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.