Federal Court Refuses To Block Clean Power Plan Until Litigation Concludes [US]

On January 21, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined to halt implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until the issue of the Plan’s legality is fully litigated in court.

The Clean Power Plan, which became effective on December 22, 2015, will remain in effect while arguments for and against the Plan play out in federal court.


Industry stakeholders and states alike have filed numerous challenges to the Clean Power Plan, which is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 32 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Asserting that they would suffer irreparable harm from the EPA’s rulemaking, opponents requested that the federal court hearing oral arguments prevent the Plan from being effective until the issue of the Plan’s legality has been fully litigated.

Blocking the rulemaking until litigation concludes could have potentially delayed the Plan’s implementation for years.

The 6th Circuit Court will hear oral arguments on the Clean Power Plan on June 2nd, and a decision is expected by late 2016 or early 2017.


Court Order: In Re West Virginia, et al. (2015)

Sharon Montazeri, 15 U.S. State Attorneys General Seek Emergency Stay of Clean Power Plan,  Red-on-line USA, August 14, 2015.

Emergency Petition: In Re West Virginia, et al. (2015).

Final rule, fact sheets and details about the Clean Power Plan, the final standards for new, modified and reconstructed sources and the proposed federal plan are available at: Clean Power Plan

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