The Environmental Defense Fund has joined a coalition of environmental organizations, public health groups and other supporters of federal climate policies to urge a federal appeals court to reject lawsuits to block implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan (CPP).
A centerpiece of President Barack Obama's climate action initiative, the CPP sets the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. However, a group of states launched a lawsuit in October in an effort to block the plan, while other states and government officials threw their formal support behind the CPP.
Now, the coalition of environmental and health groups has issued its own filing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the legal brief, the coalition says pleas for a stay of the CPP are without merit and unsupported by facts.
Defending the CPP, the legal brief argues that the plaintiffs have failed to identify any "irreparable harm" that would directly result from the Obama administration's plan. Power plants, the brief adds, have 15 years to implement the new standards, which incorporate a broad array of compliance flexibilities that enable cost-effective emission reductions.
The CPP "does not require any emission limitations until 2022," the brief says. "Once in effect, emissions reductions will phase in gradually through 2030, allowing each state to determine an optimal "glide path' for compliance.''
In one of many supportive expert "declarations" filed with the brief, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright also emphasizes the international consequences. A legal stay of the CPP, she warns, "could derail" and even "irreparably harm" the international momentum to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
To read more about the legal battle over the CPP, click here.