Reid slams SCOTUS decision on power plant rules
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) slammed the Supreme Court's decision to temporarily block President Obama's landmark climate rules for power plants.

"I was disappointed last night," the Democratic leader said. "This was an especially stunning move by the Supreme Court given just weeks ago the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals categorically rejected a halt of the Clean Power Plan."

His remarks come after the Supreme Court announced Tuesday night that in a 5-4 decision it was placing a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants while industry and state lawsuits move forward.

While Reid said the announcement is a "short-sighted decision by the court's five conservative justices" and an "unfortunate setback," he echoed the White House, saying that he is "confident" that the Obama administration's rules will eventually be upheld in court.

The Supreme Court's decision, however, likely means the president will leave office with the fate of a key pillar of his climate policy undecided.

Senate Republicans quickly pounced on the announcement, suggesting that it underscores their belief that the Obama administration's rules were a regulatory overstep.

"[Obama] can't stop the Supreme Court from making the right-decision, as we hope it ultimately will," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (R-Ky.) said, adding that he believes the regulations are "likely illegal."

Reid, however, suggested that Congress must pass climate change legisation, which faced an uphill battle even when Democrats controlled the Senate.

"Climate-denying Republicans in the House and Senate might applaud this decision, but their refusal to protect Americans from the impacts of climate change is the real loss for our country," he said.