The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan while it's being challenged in court, dealing a significant defeat to the Obama administration’s efforts to defend the controversial rule slashing carbon emissions from existing power plants.
The high court granted emergency stay applications filed by opponents of the rule, including 29 states and state agencies and several industry and trade groups, which had appealed the D.C. Circuit’s Jan. 21 decision not to stay the rule while litigation over it plays out. The orders prevent the EPA from implementing the rule not only until the D.C. Circuit issues a judgment on its legality, but also until the Supreme Court weighs in, a move most consider a virtual lock.
Greenberg Traurig LLP shareholder Paul Seby, who is representing the state of North Dakota in its challenge, said opponents were able to convince a majority of the justices that they were already being irreparably harmed by it.
“We showed that the status quo is slipping away and tremendous harm is happening now,” Seby told Law360 shortly after the stay was granted. “Unless the court froze the status quo, the damage would be done.”
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