Court Refuses To Block EPA Clean Power Plan

Date: January 22, 2016

Circuit Court Denies Effort By 27 States, Industry Groups To Block Rule

Reuters reported that a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has denied an effort by 27 states and industry groups to block the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. While the court’s order denying the states’ application to stay the CPP means the regulations on carbon dioxide emission will remain in place while litigation over it continues, the court’s decision is not the end of the legal battle, as the appeals court must hear oral arguments and rule on the regulation’s legality. According to The Hill, the court’s ruling was a “major early win” for the Environmental Protection Agency; however, opponents of the CPP “did score a win in Thursday’s order,” as the court “agreed to expedite the litigation process, scheduling oral arguments for June 2.”

What Happens Next

The court battle to block the Clean Power Plan is far from over, despite the latest setback. The Wall Street Journal reported that West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, whose state has led the legal effort against CPP, expressed disappointment in Thursday’s ruling but said his group will ultimately prevail in court. He said that West Virginia may mount an appeal with the Supreme Court for a stay.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses would suffer a great cost burden under the Clean Power Plan, so the latest court ruling is troubling. NFIB Small Business Legal Center Executive Director Karen Harned called the ruling “disappointing,” explaining in USA Today that “it allows the EPA to turn the screws on states even though the regulation may be ultimately invalidated. They’ll have to start planning and investing resources now in order to be in compliance. So even if they eventually prevail in the Supreme Court and the regulation is thrown out, it will be impossible to recover their investment and nearly impossible to reverse the damage.”

Additional Reading

Also reporting on the court’s ruling were Politico, the New York Times, the AP, and McClatchy.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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