Defense of Obama climate rule will fall to the next president

Defense of Obama climate rule will fall to the next president
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The next administration will be responsible for defending one of President Obama's key climate change rules in court.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit published a briefing schedule Tuesday for the lawsuit against a regulation that limits emissions from new coal- and natural gas-fired power plants. The final briefs are not due until Feb. 6.

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Since Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE or Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE will take office Jan. 20, the new president’s Justice Department attorneys will be responsible for the final briefs and for oral arguments in front of the judges, which will be scheduled after all the briefs are filed.

Trump has pledged to undo Obama’s climate agenda, which would require his administration to go through the normal regulatory process. He has stated that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China.

Administrations have occasionally refused to defend regulations issued by their predecessors while they work to undo them.

Clinton has pledged to vigorously defend Obama’s climate agenda and to strengthen his regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule at issue, written last year, sets limits on carbon dioxide emissions from newly built coal or natural gas power plants. Conservative states and business interests sued to have it overturned.

It is separate from, though related to, the far more contentious Clean Power Plan, which would order a 32 percent reduction in the entire power sector’s carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Supreme Court put a hold on that regulation earlier this year while it is challenged in the federal courts. The D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments regarding that rule’s challenge Sept. 27.