Supreme Court Puts Clean Power Plan On Hold

Feb 9, 2016

Credit Stephanie Joyce

The Supreme Court has put the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule on hold while lower courts consider legal challenges.

The Clean Power Plan would cut carbon emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030, nationwide. Each state has an individual reduction target though, and Wyoming and North Dakota have some of the highest in the nation because of their dependence on coal-fired power. Both states are among the more than two dozen, including Colorado, suing the federal government to overturn the plan.

State lawmakers greeted the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the rule while those legal challenges are considered with enthusiasm. 

“To me, this just sends such a signal that what they’ve been doing all along is probably way beyond their reach and authority,” said Senate Floor Leader Eli Bebout.

Governor Matt Mead called it "a big win for Wyoming and the nation" in a press release. 

Industry echoed those sentiments.

“Frankly, I was surprised," said Travis Deti, assistant director of the Wyoming Mining Association. "It came very quick and almost out of the blue and to me that signals that the Court recognizes there are some significant legal issues with the EPA’s plan.”

Arguments in the case against the plan are set for early June.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality didn't immediately respond to an inquiry about what impact the Supreme Court's decision will have on state preparations for complying with the plan.

In a statement, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is confident the rule will ultimately stand up to legal review.