A coalition of 27 states struck an urgent tone Wednesday in a new plea for a federal court to stop enforcement of the Obama administration’s landmark climate change rule for power plants.
The states warn that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule is already affecting energy markets, forcing states to prepare for its implementation and causing irreparable harm, even if state compliance plans aren’t due until 2018.
“The declarations from EPA and its supporters … establish beyond any serious doubt that the [Clean] Power Plan is already having far-reaching, immediate, and irreversible consequences,” the states, led by West Virginia and Texas, wrote Wednesday to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
While the EPA and its allies argued to the court that there is no urgency and no need to block the rule while the litigation proceeds, the state opponents said the immediate harms are numerous.
Demonstration of irreparable harm is one of the main factors required in federal court for the Obama administration’s opponents to obtain a stay against the regulation while the court fully considers the case’s merits.
“Planning activity in the states on both sides of this case is already significant and well underway, requiring the expenditure of taxpayer resources, changes in state laws, and redirected legislative time,” they said. “And EPA’s intervenors explain that the plan is now providing substantial ‘market signals,’ which are driving capital and consumer decisions in the energy generation field to the tune of ‘billions’ of dollars.”
The filing is the final brief before the court’s three-judge panel can decide whether to block the rule.
Issuance of a stay would be a major blow to the Obama administration, which has long held that the main pillar of President Obama’s climate agenda is well within the EPA’s powers under the Clean Air Act and the Constitution.