Last night, while the politicos were focused on the New Hampshire primaries, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. In other words, the Supreme Court temporarily suspended the CPP’s operation.
The Administration’s plan would have dramatically raised utility costs for average Arkansans — essentially by closing down utility companies that are unable to bear the large compliance costs it would have created. The plan also places strict emissions limits on existing power plants.
The Supreme Court’s stay means that implementation of the rule by the federal government will be blocked while it’s being challenged in court. Even if the lawsuit failed, the legal challenges it has triggered will likely not be completed before Obama leaves office; that means that a very different President — such as a conservative Republican — could be in office when implementation restarts.
Plaintiffs in this lawsuit consists of various industry groups, energy producers, and a bipartisan group of 29 states (including Arkansas).
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said of the stay:
The U.S. Supreme Court has given the people of Arkansas good news tonight. By granting a stay of the Clean Power Plan, the Court has prevented an unlawful, out-of-touch plan drafted by bureaucrats in Washington from moving forward until the legal challenges are properly resolved. This helps ensure that Arkansas and other states are not forced to comply with a rule that will likely be found unlawful and will skyrocket energy rates. The law could not be clearer that the EPA does not have the legal authority to implement this regulation, and I am confident that as this case moves forward the Courts will recognize this fact and prevent its full implementation.
Oral arguments in the case are expected to begin June 2 in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.