Federal Appeals Court Tosses Clean Power Plan Challenges

September 17, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court Tuesday threw out legal challenges to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, ending a long-running legal battle involving multiple states and scores of other parties.

In a brief order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held the consolidated cases are now moot given the Trump administration’s actions to roll back the regulations.

The Clean Power Plan, rolled out four years ago, was intended to slash carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants across the country. However, it never went into effect.

The first legal challenges to the rule were filed in 2015, and the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in 2016, preventing the plan to go into effect until the litigation was heard.

The D.C. Circuit held oral arguments on the consolidated cases a short time later, but stayed the case after President Donald Trump took office because of his oft-stated intention to scrap the whole thing.

Trump finally rolled out his proposed, less-stringent replacement, the Affordable Clean Energy rule, last month.

The Environmental Protection Agency then petitioned the court for dismissal of the lawsuits on the ground that the petitioners had now secured the relief they had been seeking.

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