Environmental -- 2016

West Virginia v. EPA   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Supreme Court grants stay pending litigation of EPA's Clean Power Plan

The NAM and other members of our coalition challenging EPA's Clean Power Plan for existing sources filed an application to Chief Justice Roberts for an immediate stay of the final rule for existing electric utility generatng units pending litigation over the rule in the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia. Although the D.C. Circuit rejected a similar request earlier in January, 29 states and state agencies sought the Chief Justice's review, and we followed suit with our own request.

Requests for stays at the Supreme Court are not common, but the EPA's attempt to aggressively transform the domestic energy industry will require states and industry to "begin now to overhaul the power sector, including passing new laws to ensure the permitting, construction, and funding of EPA's preferred power sources, as well as shuttering existing disfavored plants that would otherwise be dispatched to meet demand." We argued that the rule is far in excess of EPA's statutory authority under the Clean Air Act and will cause irreparable harms to our members if a stay is not granted.

On Feb. 9, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to grant the stay. This unusual action puts EPA enforcement of the rule on hold until the D.C. Circuit completes action in the challenges and all appeals are finished. This is a tremendous victory for our efforts to convince the Court of the problems with the rule, and signals that a majority of the Court believes there is a substantial likelihood that we will ultimately prevail on the merits of the challenge.

Related Documents:
Press release after stay granted  (February 9, 2016)
Coalition Reply Supporting Stay  (February 4, 2016)
Coalition Application for Stay  (January 27, 2016)


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