Court dismisses Clean Power Plan litigation

Source: By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A federal court yestreday threw out the litigation over the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, ending a multiyear legal battle involving dozens of parties and multiple states.In the order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the consolidated cases entirely, noting that the litigation was now moot given the Trump administration’s actions to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

The litigation was first filed in 2015, and the Supreme Court issued a stay of the rule in 2016. The D.C. Circuit heard a marathon round of oral arguments three years ago but stayed the case after President Trump took office.

EPA pushed for the court to scrap the litigation after the Affordable Clean Energy rule was announced, saying that “petitioners have thus secured the relief they sought in this lawsuit” Energywire, July 18).

Critics say the ACE rule dulls EPA’s regulatory teeth concerning greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. It faces its own legal battle: Environmental activists, health groups and blue states have sued in the D.C. Circuit.