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Challenges Ahead for Clean Power Plan as EPA Eyes Repeal

Under President Barack Obama’s administration, the Environmental Protection Agency promulgated the Clean Power Plan on October 23, 2015. The Clean Power Plan requires states to regulate existing coal-fired power plants in a manner that effectively shuts some down in favor of lower-emission fuel sources such as natural gas, wind, and solar. On October 16, 2017, EPA published a proposal to announce its intention to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and the agency is accepting comments through January 16, 2018 regarding the proposed repeal.

Meanwhile, the Clean Power Plan is subject to a stay issued on February 9, 2016 by the Supreme Court in State of West Virginia v. EPA. That case is held in abeyance. Twenty states and localities have issued a press release notifying the EPA and the public that they support the Clean Power Plan’s current compliance deadlines, which commence September 6, 2018, and disagree that the Supreme Court’s stay has the effect of extending the deadlines. The news release was issued in response to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s letter advising 47 states that they are not ”expected to work towards meeting the compliance dates set in the” Clean Power Plan.

As advised in a March 28, 2017 Executive Order, President Donald Trump’s administration intends to ”suspend, revise, or rescind” any regulation, which includes the power plant standards, that, in the view of  the Trump administration, “unduly burdens the development of U.S. energy resources.” Meyers Nave attorneys Joshua Bloom and Viviana Heger recently published an article in Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Environment Report that reviews how the Trump administration’s proposed draft rule changes the Clean Power Plan, how it will directly and indirectly impact coal plants, and how it will address overall emissions targets and trading. Please click here to read their article.