Error message

  • Failed to create JPG derivative for TN.
  • Failed to create JPG derivative for PREVIEW.

Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA. Updated August 8, 2016.

Summary

On October 23, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final Clean Power Plan rule (CPP or Rule) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The aim of the Rule, according to EPA, is to help protect human health and the environment from the impacts of climate change. The CPP would require states to submit plans to achieve state-specific CO2 goals reflecting emission performance rates or emission levels for predominantly coal- and gas-fired power plants, with a series of interim goals culminating in final goals by 2030. The CPP has been one of the more singularly controversial environmental regulations ever promulgated by EPA, and the controversy surrounding the Rule is reflected in the enormous multi-party litigation over the Rule ongoing in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC Circuit). Numerous petitions challenging the CPP have been consolidated into one case, West Virginia v. EPA. While the litigation is still ongoing at the circuit court level, an unusual interlocutory-that is, mid-litigation-application to the Supreme Court resulted in a stay of the Rule, meaning that the Rule does not have legal effect at least for the duration of the litigation. On May 16, 2016, the DC Circuit, on its own motion, ordered the case to be heard in the first instance by the full court (en banc), rather than by the three-judge panel originally scheduled to hear the case, and rescheduled oral argument for September 27, 2016.

Subject Keywords

CRS REPORT, CLEAN AIR ACT, CLEAN POWER PLAN, GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG), LITIGATION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)

In collections