In a setback for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked one of the president’s key climate initiatives.
The Clean Power Plan, issued by the U.S. EPA last summer, requires states to cut power plant emissions — the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases — by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The regulations are expected to revamp the energy industry in the coming decades, shutting down coal-fired plants and speeding up renewable energy production. But 29 states, together with dozens of industry groups, sued the EPA, claiming the plan was “the most far-reaching and burdensome rule the EPA has ever forced onto the states.”
In a 5-4 vote on Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued an unusual, one-page emergency order for the EPA to put the plan on hold until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which will hear the case this summer, comes to a decision. While the stay is temporary, many see the order as a sign that the Supreme Court has concerns about the Clean Power Plan.