The Evolving Legal Landscape of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants
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The regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants has faced significant controversy and litigation in recent years. The Obama Administration EPA’s Clean Power Plan, promulgated in 2015 for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, was challenged by multiple states and industry groups on the grounds that, in enforcing the rule, the EPA would be exceeding its regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act. The litigation surrounding the Clean Power Plan reached the Supreme Court in 2016, where the court issued a stay on the rule pending judicial review. The election of President Trump marked a significant turning point in greenhouse gas emission regulation policy, with his administration’s EPA issuing a proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan in late 2017 and subsequent replacement rule, titled the proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule, in 2018. The Final Rule, set to be issued in the second quarter of 2019, is expected to face litigation, signifying uncertainty for the implementation of the rule and the future of greenhouse gas emission regulations in the United States.