Federal appellate court hears challenge to proposed EPA regulation News
Federal appellate court hears challenge to proposed EPA regulation

[JURIST] A panel of three federal judges for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] heard arguments on Thursday aiming to block proposed EPA regulations meant to slow climate change. However, the panel abstained making an affirmative action by stating it was procedurally too early to render a decision. The contested rule is President Obama’s Clean Power Plan [official websites], that seeks to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon pollution by 2030 by requiring power plants to turn away from coal-fire power in favor of cleaner burning energy methods. The plaintiffs, which include 12 states and the coal companies, petitioned the courts to block the EPA from finalizing the proposed regulation, arguing that the EPA lacks the authority to issue it. During arguments, two of the three judges on the panel appeared highly skeptical of the plaintiffs’ efforts to stop the regulation before it is complete. However, the panel made it clear they would be willing to review the regulation once it is finalized.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] has been in action for decades, seeking to regulate harmful environmental practices. The proposal for the Clean Power Plan was released [JURIST report] in early June 2014, and was an effort to establish the first national limits on carbon pollution levels, which would simultaneously improve air quality and reduce power costs. Late last month, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments [official website, JURIST report] in three consolidated cases against the EPA which asked the question if the agency unreasonably refused to consider costs in determining their regulations.