DC Circuit Vacates Trump Rollback of Obama-Era Greenhouse Gas Standards
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration “rested critically on a mistaken reading of the Clean Air Act” when it sought to roll back Obama-era greenhouse gas emission standards for existing power plants, the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday.
The ruling on President Donald Trump’s last day in office, struck down his administration’s scaled-down replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which constrained how carbon emissions from power plants are regulated.
A three-judge panel of two Democratic appointees and one Trump-appointee, sent the rule back to the Environmental Protection Agency, where it will now be reworked by Biden administration appointees.
The decision comes after lengthy oral arguments before the court in October in which Democratic-led states and a number of environmental organizations maintained that the repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which never took effect under Trump, was illegal.
“This decision is a major rebuke of the Trump Administration’s lawless anti-science agenda,” said Attorney General William Tong of Connecticut, one of those plaintiff states.
“The Dirty Power rule was a craven attempt to enrich the fossil-fuel industry at the expense of our climate and public health. It’s time to recognize the enormous damage that is being done to our environment and our economy by outdated and expensive coal plants and to fully embrace the transition to clean, renewable and truly affordable power,” he said.
Industry groups and several Republican-led states argued in favor of Trump’s changes to the rule.
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