GOP chairman: EPA ignoring Supreme Court on climate rule

The top senator responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the agency isn’t following the Supreme Court’s order to hold off on the administration's climate change rule.

Sen. Jim InhofeJames InhofeA guide to the committees: Senate GOP considers ways to ‘modernize’ endangered species law GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said actions by EPA head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyObama EPA chief: Pruitt must uphold ‘law and science’ Overnight Energy: Congress does away with Obama coal mining rule GOP suspends rules to push through EPA pick despite Dem boycott MORE and others show the agency is still working on some steps to implement the rule, which he said contradicts the Supreme Court.

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Additionally, Inhofe said he’s worried that the EPA does not plan to push back deadlines for the rule if it is upheld.

“Since February 9, when the Supreme Court halted EPA’s implementation of the [Clean Power Plan], the agency’s public response to the decision has ranged between muddled reticence and outright defiance, leaving impacted stakeholders and resource-strapped States confused and in limbo,” he wrote in a Thursday letter to the agency.

He cited a speech McCarthy gave in which she said the EPA "will keep moving the Clean Power Plan forward” and another in which she said the rule is still “alive and well.”

“These reports are very troubling,” he wrote. “The purpose of the stay is to maintain the status quo, pausing implementation of the rule in its entirety until completion of the judicial review.”

Following the Feb. 9 stay order, the Obama administration pledged to comply and not enforce the rule.

But the EPA is still helping states plan for compliance if they want to and is taking other steps to plan for the rule, without enforcing it until the litigation is complete.