Environmental Update February 2016

Finalized Clean Power Plan Outlines Key Ways to Stop Climate Change                                                                                                                                                      The League Update, February 4, 2016 (Summary)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final version of the Clean Power Plan in 2015 – the first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants.  The plan takes the necessary steps to reduce this dangerous greenhouse gas, effectively protecting our children and future generations from the effects of climate change.

The EPA sought the public’s involvement throughout the regulation process, which resulted in around the largest public engagement campaign the agency has ever conducted and over 4 million comments from the public, environmentalists, public health groups and industry officials regarding the proposal.  The final rule reflects much of the feedback that the EPA received.

The Clean Power Plan is the biggest and most ambitious action the U.S. has ever taken to tackle climate change.  A few key parts of the plan:

  • Cuts Carbon Pollution from Power Plants.
  • Provides State Flexibility to Meet State Goals.
  • Invests in Renewable Energy.
  • Protects Public Health.
  • Paves the way for an International Climate Agreement.


 U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Implementation of Clean Power Plan
The League Update, February 4, 2016 (Summary)

On February 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily put the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan on hold while challenges to the Plan will be heard.  A lower appeals court is set to hear arguments in June and issue a ruling a few months later.  That same court denied an identical request to stay implementation of the Plan that the Supreme Court granted.

Twenty-seven states and power industry officials are challenging the implementation of the Clean Power Plan calling it an overreach by the federal government.  States have been tasked with formulating plans to meet the requirements laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Because of the decision by the Supreme Court, many states have already stopped their work.

Under the regulation that finalized the Clean Power Plan, state implementation plans are due to the EPA by September 2016.  States must use the common sense building blocks defined in the Clean Power Plan to meet state goals outlined by EPA. The Supreme Courts’ decision to stay the rule while arguments are being held threatens the timeline of implementation and jeopardizes the life-saving measures outlined in the Plan for generations to come.  It will save lives, improve health, spur growth and protect the environment. (The League has been working to push the Obama Administration to develop and implement this historic regulation for years.  We will continue to work to ensure that the Clean Power Plan is implemented properly in every state and that these life-saving measures are enacted.)


Wolf says PA will move forward on Clean Power Plan

Excerpts from NPR reporting project State Impact, February 10, 2016 By Susan Phillips

 The Wolf Administration says it will continue with plans to comply with new federal mandates to reduce the state’s carbon emissions despite a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which put a hold on Obama’s landmark effort to combat climate change.

Pennsylvania is on target for coming up with its own implementation plan by the EPA’s September deadline, and has held 14 listening sessions on the rules across the state.  Governor Wolf’s spokesman Jeff Sheridan says the Supreme Court’s decision will not impact the state’s ongoing efforts to comply with the CPP (Clean Power Plan).

“Pennsylvania will continue planning and engagement with stakeholders on the Clean Power Plan, pending final decision of this issue by the Supreme Court,” Sheridan wrote in an email to State Impact. “We will continue to closely monitor the ongoing legal process.”



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