Activist Supreme Court Conservatives Block Clean Power Plan
Unusual 5–4 decision halts the federal effort to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants while the court battle continues
Jeff Holmstead, a lawyer for coal-powered utilities that challenged the rule, said the court has never before blocked an EPA rule. "To say it's unusual is a bit of an understatement," Holmstead added.By Lawrence Hurley and Valerie Volcovici
February 9, 2016
WASHINGTON, Feb 9 - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama by putting on hold federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions mainly from coal-fired power plants, the centerpiece of his administration's strategy to combat climate change.
The court voted 5-4 along ideological lines to grant a request by 27 states and various companies and business groups to block the administration's Clean Power Plan, which also mandates a shift to renewable energy from coal-fired electricity.
The highly unusual move by the justices means the regulations will not be in effect while a court battle continues over their legality.
The plan was designed to lower carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. It is the main tool for the United States to meet the emissions reduction target it pledged at U.N. climate talks in Paris in December.