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Another Step in the Right Direction, Court Suspends Clean Power Plan Case

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On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted a Trump Administration request and temporarily suspended a set of consolidated cases against the Obama Administration's so-called Clean Power Plan. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is a petitioner in one of these cases, which challenges the legality of the plan. The plan is being challenged on a number of grounds, ranging from its unauthorized scope to its unconstitutional commandeering of state officials.

CEI’s General Counsel Sam Kazman reacted to the news:

As petitioners in this case, we’ve long believed that the Clean Power Plan was incredibly expensive, outrageously useless, and extraordinarily illegal. We applauded the President’s executive order for the plan’s reevaluation, and we were pleased to see EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt move quickly in federal court to suspend the case while that reevaluation moves forward. Today’s court order, granting an initial 60-day suspension, is yet another step in the right direction.

And CEI senior fellow and expert in energy policy William Yeatman weighed in:

In the wake of the court’s order, we expect the agency to bring the Clean Power Plan within the bounds of the law, which allows for one of two possibilities: either 1) the rule is nixed because the EPA determines that it is precluded from issuing a climate rule for existing power plants because they are already regulated under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution program, or 2) the EPA significantly revises the rule to bring it “inside the fence line” of electricity generating units, such that the agency no longer claims the authority to dictate to the states what their energy choices must be.

Either way, the outcome will pardon the American economy from the ill-effects of the Clean Power Plan, which would have empowered the EPA to remake the electric industry in furtherance of climate change mitigation.

More information and CEI’s arguments in this case can be found here.