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SCOTUS Places EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules On Hold

Ryan E. Poppe

The U.S. Supreme Court has placed the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for coal-fired power plants on hold, while a coalition of 30 state attorneys general led by Texas continues to challenge the constitutionality of rules that would shut down older plants still in operation.



Justices on the high court blocked the enforcement of the Obama administration’s new clean energy plan while the lower courts decide whether the EPA has the legal authority to impose it.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that the EPA's proposed reductions on carbon emissions are impossible for existing power plants to meet and would force their closure.


"The power rule they tried to put in place would have resulted in dramatically higher than average electricity bills and significantly less reliable service for families, hospitals and schools across America. The supreme court agreed that rushing through policy like this could cause irreparable harm to state economies and the national electric grid," Paxton said.


But while Paxton sees the high court’s temporary ban as a victory, Sara Smith, the general counsel for the non-profit group Environment Texas, is confident the court will uphold the plan.


“Which has a strong legal foundation in the clean air act and I think this decision obviously isn’t something that we were hoping for but it doesn’t overturn the clean power plan as polluters and their allies would have you believe from their reaction," Smith explained.


Smith says the Supreme Court has already upheld the EPA’s authority to limit carbon emissions from power plants under the clean air act.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.