Thursday, September 29, 2016

Appeals Court Mulls Challenge to Clean Power Plan

A power plant near Carlsbad, Calif. (Credit: Bryce Bradford/flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Six hours and 42 minutes.

That’s how long the legal challenge to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan was argued before a federal appeals court on Tuesday — more than double the time the court allotted for the hearing.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s most important greenhouse gas emissions regulation is being challenged by a group of 24 states led by West Virginia with support from the fossil fuel industry.  The challenge was heard before 10 of the 11 judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland recused himself.

“I thought that yesterday’s argument went very well for EPA,”  said Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU.  “The judges were very prepared and very engaged. The strength of EPA’s arguments came through clearly throughout the give and take.”

Vickie Patton, general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement that the hearing was far-ranging and the judges showed that they understood that the Clean Power Plan establishes achievable and legal emissions cuts.

“This was a good day in court for America’s Clean Power Plan and for healthier air, a safer climate and economic prosperity,” she said.

The hearing’s length shows that the judges were deeply concerned about the Clean Power Plan and major legal issues involved, said Tom Lorenzen, an attorney who argued in court on behalf of the fossil fuels industry.  He spoke Wednesday at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., with the other attorneys who argued the case.

Read more at Appeals Court Mulls Challenge to Clean Power Plan

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