The sulfer-coal-burning John E. Amos Power Plant in West Virginia. (credit: Cathy)

A federal appeals court is refusing to block the Obama administration’s climate change initiative. Two dozen states and other energy companies sued (PDF) the Environmental Protection Agency in October on the day the carbon-emissions cutting plan became law.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said that the plan, which impacts hundreds of power plants across the nation and is one of the president’s centerpiece accomplishments, can proceed even as the legal challenge is pending. “Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review,” the court ruled in a brief order Thursday. (PDF)
The rule requires a 32 percent reduction in power plant emissions by 2030, with the baseline set at 2005 emission levels. Coal-burning power plants, which generate about a third of the nation’s power, are the hardest hit. West Virginia and Kentucky, two of the states that rely heavily on coal for power and jobs, initiated the legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan. Utilities are the nation’s largest source of carbon emissions.
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