The NCSL Blog


By Kevin Frazzini

With the stay it issued last week, the U.S. Supreme Court put the EPA’s Clean Power Plan on hold—but 20 states already are well on their way to meeting its requirements, reports NCSL’s Glen Andersen in the current issue of State Legislatures magazine.

Magazine cover illustrationAndersen provides the back story needed to understand how we’ve arrived at this point, with the Obama administration’s signature effort on climate change in court.

Critics—including the 27 states and the trade associations, utilities, coal companies and mining interests that argued for the stay—say the EPA overstepped its authority in issuing the regulations, which require power plants to reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent nationwide by 2030. 

Supporters say the plan helps to put the U.S. in a leading role in the global effort to address climate change. Eighteen states, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and environmental groups have filed motions supporting the plan.

The Supreme Court’s action this week does not address the merits of the plan, though it is widely assumed that the justices ultimately will decide on the rule’s legality. Indeed, as NCSL’s Ben Husch writes, it sends a message to the appeals court that it must take a close look at the regulations’ legality.

Is the Clean Power Plan the threat to economic growth and reliable electricity that opponents say it is, or an opportunity to harness new technologies and create new jobs, as supporters have it? Read the full story now.

Kevin Frazzini is the assistant editor of State Legislatures magazine.

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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.