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May 1, 2017

DC Circuit halts Clean Power Plan case in win for Trump

  • Government
  • Agency
  • Judicial
  • Energy

Utility Dive – A day after it delayed oral arguments over the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the Circuit Court handed the Trump administration another significant victory.

The president has launched a series of reviews on environmental rules, including smog and mercury restrictions and the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Where those rules are under consideration by the courts, the administration has asked judges to delay rulings and hearings while the regulations are reviewed. 

While Trump asked the court for a delay in CPP litigation last month, some observers believed a ruling could be on the way due to the volume of work already done on the case. There was a full day of oral testimony in front of the entire D.C. Circuit bench, and the rule's implementation has already been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court — where many expect the case to wind up.

After the oral arguments, many energy lawyers were cautiously confident of the rule's survival, and liberal states pushed the court for a decision. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had led a coalition of 24 states and cities, urging the court to issue a ruling. The Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups filed their own motion to continue the case. 

Ultimately, the Circuit Court sided with Trump's EPA, which argued it "should be afforded the opportunity to fully review the Clean Power Plan and respond to the president's direction in a manner that is consistent with the terms of the executive order, the Clean Air Act, and the agency's inherent authority to reconsider past decisions."

Read more at Utility Dive.

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