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Obama & EPA Face Tough Court Battles Over Clean Air

Obama & EPA Face Tough Court Battles Over Clean Air

Following the recent announcement jointly by Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the Clean Power Plan, already opposition is not only growing, but preparing for lengthy legal battles in U.S. courts, primarily based upon the EPA’s legal power to introduce the said plan. The Clean Power Plan (the aim of which is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030) was introduced under a rarely used section of the Clean Air Act, which, say opponents, has legal issues in itself. Congress updated clean air law in 1990; however, in doing so, they enacted differing versions of House and Senate amendments. It is under these that the EPA has created its new carbon rules.

The Clean Power Plan is designed to force authorities to move to cleaner energy, e.g. wind and solar, and not just to control pollution levels at fossil-powered power plants. In addition to the EPA’s legal authority issue due to the Congress error described previously, this legislative push towards cleaner energy could actually be outside its remit. Described by Tim Profeta, director at Duke University, as “novel,” these two issues will determine the legal future of the Clean Power Plan, as the Clean Air Act has no precedence related to it in over 20 years.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading a host of states will present legal challenges in court; “We believe… the EPA is trying to convert itself from an environmental regulator into a central planning authority of states’ energy economies,” Morrisey said. If you believe the Obama / EPA’s Clean Power Plan is economically unsound legislation, apart from possibly being illegally introduced, please Like & Share this post.

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