A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of the extensive strategy until after legal challenges are resolved to address climate change of President Barack Obama.
The surprising move is a blow to the administration and also a success for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry challengers that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.
“By issuing the temporary freeze, a 5-4 majority of the justices signaled that competitors made strong arguments contrary to the rules. The four liberal justices of the high court said they could have denied the request for delay. The Obama administration’s plan plans to stave off the worst predicted impacts of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants by about one third by 2030.
“We disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan while litigation proceeds,”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. Earnest said the government’s plan is founded on a strong technical and legal basis, and gives the states time to build up cost-effective plans to reduce emissions.
He also said the administration will continue to “take aggressive things to do in order to make forward progress to lessen carbon emissions.”A federal appeals court in Washington last month refused to place the program on hold. Conformity with the new rules isn’t needed until 2022, but states must submit their strategies by September to the Environmental Protection Administration or seek an expansion.