On Thursday, the legal battle against Obama's most significant step in addressing climate change ensues. The country's two largest coal corporations, in conjunction with 14 coal-producing states, are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency in its latest regulation, known as the Clean Power Plan. This regulation specifically targets the coal industry, being the largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. By focusing on the rate reduction of carbon pollution, the Clean Power Plan specifies an emissions target for each state. Moreover, this plan sets limits specifically on the power plants themselves, looking to reduce national carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2030 (Magill).
The plaintiffs of the case, the two coal corporations and the 14 states, claim that the EPA lacks the authority to implement such a regulation and that current preparations for the rule have already hurt states and coal businesses. They have thus petitioned the court to block the EPA from finalizing the plan, a very rare occurrence in court. However, two of the three judges seemed skeptical of the plaintiff's arguments against the EPA.
This lawsuit demonstrates the coal industry's attempts to save itself and its unwillingness to account for the negative externalities they have caused. Do you think their argument is a valid point? Moreover, will such an expansive proposal as this be viable across the country?