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Supreme Court temporarily blocks implementation of Clean Power Plan

By a 5-4 vote, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have temporarily blocked implementation of the Obama administration’s attempts to regulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, pending resolution of a challenge to the President’s plan filed on an expedited basis by 29 states.

The high court will hear argument in the case on June 2.

Here’s more from the New York Times:

The challenged regulation, which was issued last summer by the Environmental Protection Agency, requires states to make major cuts to greenhouse gas pollution created by electric power plants, the nation’s largest source of such emissions. The plan could transform the nation’s electricity system, cutting emissions from existing power plants by a third by 2030, from a 2005 baseline, by closing hundreds of heavily polluting coal-fired plants and increasing production of wind and solar power.

“Climate change is the most significant environmental challenge of our day, and it is already affecting national public health, welfare and the environment,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. wrote in a brief urging the Supreme Court to reject a request for a stay while the case moves forward.

The regulation calls for states to submit plans to comply with the regulation by September, though they may seek a two-year extension. The first deadline for power plants to reduce their emissions is in 2022, with full compliance not required until 2030.

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